Road lighting may be turned down

Thousands of miles of road across England may soon be less brightly lit under plans to save money and reduce pollution.

TheHighways Agency said it is considering turning down lights on major roads when traffic is quiet.

Research into the best times and areas for such a move will be carried out during the next financial year, although drivers having to call on theirbreakdown cover may not appreciate having to sit in the dark on a cold, wet night

Local transport minister Norman Baker said he is in favour of dimming lights so long as it does not endanger lives.

A spokesman for the agency said: "This is not about switching off lights on A-roads. However, we want to continue to reduce the carbon footprint associated with managing England's major A-roads and one of the ways we are considering doing this is dimming lights when traffic levels are very low.

"Any changes to light level will be determined in consultation with industry experts and will meet internationally agreed standards to ensure there will be no impact on safety for road users."

In a written parliamentary answer, Mr Baker said: "The level of light reduction will be based upon internationally agreed standards and made in consultation with the UK's Institute of Lighting Professionals.

"It is right that lighting authorities consider, in the interests of cost-saving and the environment, whether lighting can be sensibly dimmed or turned off, consistent with proper safety assessments."

Copyright Press Association 2012