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Street lights turned off to meet carbon emission targets
Lights on roads across Britain are being turned off or dimmed in order to drive down costs and lower carbon emissions.
A study conducted by The Sunday Telegraph found 3,080 miles of major roads and motorways in England are now unlit at night, with a further 47 miles dimmed during early morning.
However this practice has raised safety concerns for UK motorists and car insurance policy holders, with accidents more likely to occur in the dark.
A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents told The Sunday Telegraph of their concerns, saying, "The presence of lighting not only reduces the risk of traffic accidents but also their severity. Surveys have shown that the public are in favour of street lighting as a way of improving road safety and that, if anything, it needs to be improved in some areas.
"There are economic and environmental reasons why some organisations may wish to reduce the amount of lighting. However there are safety reasons why lighting needs to be available."
The research showed that 70 per cent of Britain's motorway network now has no lighting at night, which is estimated to have saved the Highways Agency £400,000 in 2011 as well as lowering their carbon footprint.
All of England's 27 counties now lower or turn off street lighting, which has also raised fears for the public's safety due to potential increased crime levels in these blackout areas. Whilst local councils expect to reap significant annual savings, many will not see the financial benefit for several years due to the cost of installing dimmer switches and new control systems to accommodate the practice.