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Motorway lighting will be switched off permanently on three stretches of road in the North West in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and light
pollution, the Highways Agency has announced.
Dubbed the 'Highways Agency Carbon Saving Scheme', the switch-off from Tuesday, 29 March will be a step further than the midnight-5am measures which were implemented on quiet stretches of motorway previously.
The roads which will be affected by the scheme are the M58 between Junction 4 and 6, the M65 between Junction 7 and 10, and the M66 between Junction 1 and 4 - totalling almost 16 miles of motorway. Junctions and their approaches will remain lit.
It is being implemented under the principle that lights would not have been installed on those stretches under new guidelines, if authorities were replacing them or starting from scratch. According to the Highways Authority, which runs the motorway and trunk road network, the three stretches of road have a good safety record, and the changes can be brought in without adversely affecting this.
The approach towards streetlighting emerged as part of the Spending Review process , where voters were asked for input as to where cuts should fall. However, alternatives to the spending cuts continue to come from activists, with protesters set to converge on London on Saturday.
Derek Turner, director of the Highways Agency, assured that previous switch-offs had no impact on safety, highlighting that "driver behaviour does not appear to have been affected in terms of traffic volumes and speed."
"We anticipate achieving an annual reduction in carbon emissions on these three stretches of about 1,000 tonnes," he said, adding that "local communities will also benefit from reduced light pollution of the night sky."
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