Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 13:40 UK

Motorway set for light switch-off

Motorway at night (generic)
The switch-off will also cut down light pollution, the Highways Agency said

Lighting on a stretch of a motorway in Hampshire will be switched off in a bid to cut carbon emissions.

The Highways Agency said the blackout on the M27 between junctions seven and eight at Southampton starts on Sunday.

The Highways Agency said the site had an "excellent safety record" and a very low traffic flow between midnight and 0500 BST, when the lights will be out.

It is the latest of four sites in the south east to try the move following a pilot in the south west in March.

Jon Griffiths, from the agency, said: "We are looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of operating the motorway network and this is one step in that direction.

"We expect to achieve up to a 40% saving in carbon emissions and energy use for each section of motorway where we do this, and local communities will benefit from reduced light pollution of the night sky."

Automatic timing devices will control the lights but the system can be overridden if needed.

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Motorway lights switch-off starts
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