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Lights off

Plans to switch off the lights between midnight and 5am on the M1 junction 10 at Luton and junction 13 at Milton Keynes has motoring groups scrambling to voice their concern.

It's part of the Department of Transport's plan to contribute towards the Coalition government's austerity measure programme.

In fact, the idea to do this came from the great British public itself, as it was one of the first ideas suggested after the election when the government asked for money-saving ideas.

The decision to turn off the lights on a lightly-used motorway stretch may appear less conroversial than the choice of this particular 15-mile stretch, which is set to be turned into a managed motorway with variable speed limits.

'We think there will be a number of operational issues,' said Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA.

'Where you can and can’t be is defined by signals and without lights there is a greater chance that people will make a mistake.'

Road safety charity Brake also voiced concern. 'Although there are fewer crashes on our motorways per mile travelled due to the way these roads are engineered, when crashes do happen on these roads they are much more likely to involve multiple deaths and serious injuries because of the high speeds involved,' a spokesperson said.

'Road casualties are not only catastrophic for the families involved, but a huge economic burden, so if there is a safety implication of turning lights off it could turn out to be a false economy as well as a desperately inhumane experiment.'

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