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Coroner questions M65 lights switch-off after death smash

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A coroner has called on the Highways Agency to reconsider its controversial decision to switch off lights on a stretch of the M65. The Burnley Express highlighted the concerns of residents about the issue in November 8th.

Mr Michael Singleton, the Coroner for Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley made the call at an inquest into the death of Burnley-born Mark Burgess.

Mr Burgess (39) died after he was thrown from his car after hitting the central reservation near Junction 8 on November 23rd.

The inquest heard he was over the legal drink drive limit and his accident would not have been prevented had there been lights.

But Mr Singleton still raised the question and confirmed he would write a report to the Highways Agency asking it to reconsider the situation with regards to the street lighting on the M65.

The Highways Agency has responsibility for the motorway from junction one to 10. The lights were turned off 
between junctions seven 
and 10 in 2011 to reduce carbon emissions.

Junctions 10 to 14, where the lights are turned off between midnight and 5am, are maintained by Lancashire County Council.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “Safety is our top priority and we will therefore carefully consider any issues raised by the coroner as a result of the inquest.”

 

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