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Lights switch off on M65 a ‘false saving’ says former MP
7:30pm Monday 2nd December 2013 in News
THE switching off of the lights at the side of the M65 was a ‘false saving’, according to a former MP.
Peter Pike, who represented Burnley from 1983 to 2005, said he believed lives should be put before energy and cost saving.
The former Labour politician spoke to show his support for the Lancashire Telegraph’s campaign to have the motorway lights turned back on.
Mr Pike said: “In my view, switching the lights off was a false saving.
“Life is much more important and even if it is only one life that is saved, it is worth it.
“I am sure a vast number of people would say they prefer driving on the motorway when it is lit rather than when it is dark.
“I am also a strong believer that motorway lighting does make motorways much safer, particularly in bad weather and particularly in winter when we have longer nights.”
A petition was started last week by the Telegraph after a crash on the M65 in which father-of-two Mark Burgess was killed.
Three cars and an ambulance, which was carrying a patient, crashed into the debris, with some drivers saying they might have been able to avoid a collision, had there been lighting.
The M65 is managed by two bodies.
Junctions one to ten is the responsability of The Highways Agency, which turned out the lights on the 5.5mile stretch between junctions seven and 10 in 2011 in a bid to save around 350 tonnes of carbon every year.
A spokesman for the agency said they would be supporting police in their investigation into the causes of the crash, but could not confirm if the lighting policy would be reviewed.
Junctions 10 to 14 are maintained by Lancashire County Council. Its lights are switched off from midnight to 5am.
John Filis, county council cabinet member for highways, said officers would be looking into the issue.
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