Authorities are being urged to review road lighting on two stretches of the M65.
Following a fatal crash in November near junction 8 – which is managed by the Highways Agency – the Blackburn Coroner has written to the Agency over its decision to leave defunct road lights switched off. Although the road lights being turned off was not linked to the initial crash, following the incident other motorists collided with debris on the road, saying they didn’t see it because it was so dark.
The local newspaper, the Lancashire Telegraph, has started a campaign urging the Highways Agency to turn the lights back on the M65 motorway.
A spokesperson for the Highways Agency said: “Safety is our top priority and we will therefore carefully consider the issues raised by the coroner as a result of the inquest.”
Junctions 7 to 10 of the M65 are managed by the Highways Agency. Lights were switched off in March 2011 after careful safety analysis and the reason for the switch-off was to reduce carbon emissions.
The Agency has said that under a revised standard for lighting on England’s motorways and major A roads introduced in 2007, lights would not be installed at these sites if the existing lighting was due to be replaced – or if the sites were opening as new.
The lights on the stretch of the M65 where the accident took place were switched off as part of the Agency’s nationwide Midnight Switch-Off strategy, where lights were switched off between midnight and 5am after an analysis of road safety. The aim of the strategy was to cut carbon emissions.
Meanwhile, Lancashire County Council (LCC) has said it doesn’t plan to replace the street lights between junctions 10-14 when it undertakes work to replace the motorway’s central reservation barrier. The Council, not the Highways Agency, manages this particular stretch of the road.
The plan has been attacked by local MP Andrew Stephenson, who told the Lancashire Telegraph: “This is an issue people feel very strongly about and I’ve spoken to a number of residents who are unhappy with the plans.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said a decision on the central reservation would be taken in April by the council’s member for highways and transport. He said junctions would continue to be lit under the proposals.
Unknown(2014)Pressure grows on authorities to review M65 road lights[Online]http://www.lighting.co.uk/news/latest-news/pressure-grows-on-authorities-to-review-m65-road-lights/8659766.article?referrer=RSS&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed(Accessed 6th March 2014)