Skip to main content

Light Pollution

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 11 December 2008


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 10 November (WA 100–01), what action they are taking to reduce light pollution in the night sky. [HL108]

The Highways Agency has replaced most of its lamps with smaller, brighter lamps that can be better controlled. These smaller lamps allow lighting designs that result in most of the light being directed downwards which reduces the light pollution.

The Highways Agency has also modernised its lighting standards so that all new lighting is designed to ensure all light is directed downwards and no light is emitted above the horizontal. The Campaign for Dark Skies recently presented an award to the Highways Agency in recognition of its work on these lighting standards.

Under the Highways Agency sustainability development action plan, there is a commitment to reduce the agency's operational energy use. On 14 October 2008, the Highways Agency announced that it would be introducing a midnight to 5 am switch-off of road lighting at some motorway sites following a safety assessment. While this is intended to reduce carbon emissions, it would also reduce pollution of the night sky from road lighting.