More motorway lights switch off

  • Midnight to 5am motorway light switch-off rolls rolls on
  • Saving on emissions, light pollution and electricity costs
  • Junctions lights set to stay on for safety reasons

The Highways Agency has confirmed that it will continue to switch motorway lights off from midnight to 5am on selected sections of the UK road network.

The switch-off began in 2009 and the Highways Agency and the Department for Transport (DfT) have confirmed that it will continue to cut the UK's carbon footprint by turning off more lights.

The M6 between Standish and Lostock Hall in Lancashire is the latest of seven sites across the country following similar exercises in 2009 on stretches of motorway in Kent, Berkshire, Hampshire, Devon and near Bristol.

A spokesperson for the Highways Agency said 'The Highways Agency continues to look for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of operating the motorway network; switching off lighting on sections of our motorways between midnight and 5am is one step in that direction.

'Only sections of motorway that have a good safety record and low traffic flows in the early hours will be considered; junctions themselves will remain lit, and lighting can be turned on in the event of an incident. Safety is and will continue to be a top priority, safety risk assessments will be completed and reviewed for each site.'


In response to the motorway light switch-off, the Institute of Advanced Motorists voiced its concern over the continuation of switching motorway lights off between midnight and 5am.  

Kevin Delaney, Head of Road Safety at the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), said: 'It's a lot less stressful to drive when the road ahead of you is lit. Modern headlamps are very good, but they do not shine far enough ahead to enable you to stop in time for an unexpected obstacle when travelling at motorway speeds, at 70mph the stopping distance is 315ft.

' Motorway lamp posts are very high off the ground, and bringing them closer to the road and using more modern lighting technology will help save energy and reduce light pollution.'


How many miles of motorway currently have their lights switched off between midnight and 5am?



(Motorway miles)

M2 J3-4


M4 J7-8/9


M4 J11-12


M4 J21-22


M5 J29-30


M27 J7-8


M6 J27-29


Total Length