The Government has admitted to turning off the lights on more than 121 miles of motorway over the past three years. The Highways Agency claims that the move was carried out in a bid to lower CO2 emissions.
Vast stretches of unlit motorway have had their lights either dimmed or turned off completely, rather than opting for energy efficient lighting. This has resulted in drivers having to rely on cat’s eyes and their headlights to help them navigate the roads.
A spokesperson from the AA said: “It smacks of penny pinching more than saving the planet. Given the amount of tax motorists are paying, they deserve a better deal.”
The Highways Agency claims that safety has not been compromised and that it had completed safety assessments of the locations. However, the AA says that some of the affected stretches of motorway are particularly prone to fog.
The 59 miles of motorway lighting permanently switched off includes: the M58 between junctions 4 and 6, near Skelmersdale in Lancashire; the M65 between junctions 10 and 13, near Milton Keynes; M1 between junction 13 and its Northamptonshire border; and the M6 between junctions 15 and 16, near Stoke-on-Trent.
The motorway lights switch-off coincides with local councils across the country switching off streetlights in an attempt to cut energy costs.