Motorway Light Switch Off


It has been announced that the lights on one of Britain’s busiest stretch of motorway are going to be turned out. Issues have been raised by a number of motoring groups who claim that motorist’s safety could be put at major risk.

It is a little bit like Blackpool but in reverse, where they have the grand light switch on between midnight and 5am on the M1 between junction 10 at Luton and junction 13 at Milton Keynes the lights will be switched off.

This is said to have been the solution for the Department for Transport; they are trying to cut costs as its contribution to the Government’s austerity program.

Following the government coalition it was decided that turning off lights on Britain’s motorway would work as a money saving idea - but can you put a price on safety?

The highways agency revealed that less than half the 1800 miles of motorway in England are actually lit. This 15 mile stretch however has raised concern as it is also going to be turned into a managed motorway with varying speed limits. This means that drivers will be allowed to use the hard shoulder at busy time periods. However, this is defined by road signs and without the use of road lights motorists cannot see where they can and cannot be. Therefore huge mistakes could be made which in turn could cause a number of collisions, bumps, injuries and even worse, fatalities!

Due to the way that the motorways are engineered there are fewer crashes per mile travelled when crashes do happen they are more likely to include multiple deaths and more serious injuries because of the higher speeds involved.

Turning the lights off on the motorway has been described as nothing more than an inhumane experiment trialed by the Highways Agency to cut costs. Previous parts of motorway have been tested such as parts of:

  • M2
  • M4
  • M5
  • M27

Since 2009 lighting has been switched off between midnight and 5am on 14 carefully selected stretches of motorways. Evidence so far has shown that in switching off the lights there has been no impact upon motorist safety.

The money saved from the big light switch off on our motorways could be used for other measures on the strategic road network where it could be put to better use, be more significant in regards to safety and ultimately save more lives.

We will just have to see what real impact the big light switch off really does have on our motorists. If you are travelling along the motorways or on long journeys then make sure you take care on the stretches where there are no lights. If you are planning a long journey and your car is having difficulties or maybe you cannot rely on it for some reason then vehicle hire from Intack could be just what you need.

For more information get a quote today or alternatively call us on 01254 970027 or you can email us

30th August 2011, 16:10