If you drive at night on the M1 in Bedfordshire you may notice that it is a little darker than usual.
Road lighting on sections of the motorway between Junction 10 (Luton) and Junction 13 (Milton Keynes) has been switched off, starting from August 17th. The lighting will now be gradually removed.
According to the Highways Agency, lighting would not be installed if the road was built today, thanks to revised lighting standards for lighting on motorways and A roads that were introduced in 2007. Derek Turner, director of the Highways Agency, said:
“Since 2009 we’ve switched lighting off between the hours of midnight and 5am on 14 carefully selected stretches of motorways and evidence so far indicates that switching off the lights hasn’t had an impact on safety.”
The Highways Agency believe that switching off the lights on this stretch of road alone will save approximately 810 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. It will also reduce light pollution for residents of the area.
A low-light CCTV camera system has been installed on this stretch of motorway, so it will still be possible for the road to be remotely monitored from the Highways Agency control centre 24 hours a day.
Do you have an opinion on unlit motorways? Is it an improvement, dangerous or does it make no difference? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.