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Dimming of Major Roads is Being Considered by the Highways Agency PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 February 2012 14:53

Lights on thousands of miles of mayor roads in England could be dimmed in a bid to save money and reduce carbon emissions. The Highways Agency is proposing to reduce light levels on major roads when traffic levels are "very low".

Local transport minister Norman Baker said that he supported the move as long as safety was not compromised.

'Minimum lighting required'
In a parliamentary written answer to a question posed to Justine Greening the Secretary of State for Transport by Daniel Kawczynski "what plans she has to revise guidance on the minimum amount of lighting required on A roads"

Mr Baker wrote:
"The Department for Transport endorses Well-Lit Highways, the Code of Practice on highway lighting management published by the UK Lighting Board. This is updated periodically and is available at the following weblink: hptp://www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org/lighting/well_lit.htm

The code provides a link to further guidance for local highway authorities to consider prior to deciding whether to introduce dimming, reduce operating hours or switch off lights for part of the night.

The Highways Agency has plans to reduce the level of lighting on A roads when traffic levels are significantly below road capacity. Research, including assessment installations will take place in the next financial year. The agency has no plans to reduce the level of lighting on A roads during the peak periods that occur during the hours of darkness or to temporarily switch A road lighting off when traffic flows are low. The level of light reduction will be based upon internationally agreed standards and made in consultation with the UK's Institute of Lighting Professionals."

Mr Baker added "It is right that lighting authorities consider, in the interests of cost-saving and the environment, whether lighting can be sensibly dimmed or turned off, consistent with proper safety assessments."

A spokesman from the Highways Agency said: "This is not about switching off lights on A-roads. However, we want to continue to reduce the carbon footprint associated with managing England's major A-roads and one of the ways we are considering doing this is dimming lights when traffic levels are very low.

"Any changes to light level will be determined in consultation with industry experts and will meet internationally agreed standards to ensure there will be no impact on safety for road users."


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