England

Lights off on part of M5 to reduce light pollution

Lights will be switched off for five hours at night on part of the M5 motorway from midnight on Wednesday.

The plans will affect an eight-mile stretch between junctions two near Oldbury in the West Midlands and four by Lydiate Ash in Worcestershire.

The Highways Agency said it hoped to reduce carbon emissions and light pollution by 40%.

That part of the motorway network has a good safety record at those times, the agency said.

Switch-offs have taken place in other areas over the last two years including in Kent, Berkshire, Hampshire, Devon, Avon and Somerset and on an adjoining site on the M6 in Lancashire.

Bob Castleman, divisional director for the Highways Agency, said he expected the switch-off to achieve up to a 40% saving in carbon emissions and energy use as well as giving local communities reduced light pollution of the night sky.

Staff in the Highways Agency's regional control centres have the ability to override the mechanism and will consider leaving the lights on should severe weather be forecast on these parts of the strategic road network overnight, the agency added.

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