Lighting along three sections of motorway in the North West and West Midlands will be switched off between midnight and 5am in a move to reduce carbon emissions and light pollution.
Starting at midnight next Wednesday, lighting at the following three locations will be switched off each night between midnight and 5am.
On the M6 between Junction 21a and 23 near Newton-le-Willows (2.5 miles). On the M6 between Junctions 31 and 31a in Preston (approximately 2 miles). On the M5 between Junctions 4a and 6 near Worcester (10 miles).
These stretches of the motorway have a good night time safety record and, after careful assessment, have been chosen as the latest sites for the Highways Agency’s national programme. The motorway junctions and their approaches will remain lit.
Staff in the Highways Agency’s Regional Control Centres have the ability to override the switch-off mechanism, and will consider leaving the lights on should severe weather be forecast on these parts of the strategic road network overnight.
Targeted switch-offs have been successfully delivered in other parts of the country over the last two years including stretches of the motorway network in the South West, the South East, the North West, the East Midlands and the West Midlands .
Bob Castleman, Divisional Director for the Highways Agency, said: "We are continually looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of operating the motorway network and this is another step in that direction, bringing the total number of sites on England’s motorway network to 13.
"We expect these sites to work as successfully as everywhere else – achieving up to a 40 per cent saving in carbon emissions and energy use as well as giving local communities reduced light pollution of the night sky.
“The latest sites have been carefully chosen because of their good safety record between midnight and 5am. In fact, using current standards there would be no case for installing new lighting at these sites based on the overnight traffic flow figures alone.”