HC Deb 24 July 1986 vol 102 c453W
Mr. Grist

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has completed his review of policy for the provision of lighting on motorways and all-purpose trunk roads; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Yes. Having carefully considered the views of the bodies consulted, representing all the various interests in road lighting, and the recommendation of the Select Committee on Road Transport's report on road safety, my right hon. Friend has revised the policy for the provision of lighting on motorway and all-purpose trunk roads for which he is the highway authority.

In future, detailed consideration as to whether lighting should be provided will always be given prior to the construction stage, thus allowing for lighting proposals to be included in the public consultation process and any subsequent inquiry.

The decision whether to light in a particular case will be based on an economic assessment of the costs and benefits throughout the life of the lighting scheme, together with a full assessment of environmental factors. Account will also be taken of any significant non-quantifiable road safety factors.

When a night-time accident problem arises on an existing road which is not lit, the case for lighting will also be subject to economic and environmental assessment.

The type of lighting which will afford the best value for money in the particular case will be used except in environmentally sensitive areas where a whiter light source may be installed. This will stimulate greater competition in the industry.

The effectiveness of road lighting and other measures in reducing accidents in fog on existing roads will continue to be the subject of further study by the Department.

In future, all new lighting installations will be monitored year by year in order to assess their effectiveness.

These new arrangements are designed to improve road safety, secure better value for public money, to safeguard against environmental damage and to provide a consistency of approach with that for other highway investment. My right hon. Friend has been concerned to ensure that adequate safeguards for the environment are embodied in the new policy.

A departmental advice note TA 49/86, setting out the revised assessment method relating to the provision of road lighting on motorways and all-purpose trunk roads is being issued and copies have been placed in the Library.