Hundreds of miles of British motorway will be plunged into darkness in a bid by the Highways Agency to reduce carbon emissions and electricity costs.
In an initial trial, the Agency has chosen to switch off the lights on two stretches of motorway with low crash rates and low volumes of late-night traffic. However, it has conceded that crash rates are likely to rise slightly as a result of the move.
From 26 March, lighting on the M4 between junctions 21 and 22 near Bristol will be switched off from midnight until 5am.
From 16 April, the lights will be turned off on the M5 between junctions 29 and 30 near Exeter.
The measure will then be extended to several sections of motorway in the South East.
The Highways Agency has calculated that on the 1.6-mile section of the M5, there is likely to be one additional crash involving injury in the next 25 years.
On the 2.8-mile section of the M4, the increased risk equates to one extra 'injury crash' in 33 years.