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Lights on Ireland's motorways are being turned off to save money

“Are we trying to save a few quid? That’s absolutely correct.”
Mar 19th 2015, 6:04 AM 33,345 85

HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS with the National Roads Authority Sean O’Neill dropped by’s newsroom yesterday afternoon for a live Q&A.

If you want to watch the whole thing,  you can do so here: the session, as you might expect, took in everything from M50 tolling to (now mothballed) plans for Celtic Tiger-era road projects.

Reader Declan Cosgrave sent in a question about motorway lights on the M1… Essentially, are they being turned off to save a few quid?

“Spot on,” was O’Neill’s response.

“Are we trying to save a few quid? That’s absolutely correct.”


Source: Video

The lights are being turned off to improve energy efficiency and to cut down on costs, O’Neill said.

“There’s just unnecessary lighting on road networks throughout Europe and in particular here in Ireland.”


Yeah, that’s exactly what’s going on, it’s a cost saving mechanism.

Speaking to us afterwards, O’Neill explained that the lights in question were around junctions.

It’s something that’s happening across the network – and has been ongoing for around a year. He said proposals for every area were examined closely and that discussions took place with all relevant stakeholders before each decision was made.

It’s not a particularly new idea either. Fine Gael’s Charlie Flanagan (now the foreign affairs minister) suggested back in 2012 that lights could be switched off overnight as a cost and energy-saving measure.

At the time, the Road Safety Authority said in response that it wouldn’t have a problem with the issue, so long as risk assessments were carried out.

AS IT HAPPENED: Irish Rail and the National Roads Authority on closed loos and ‘ghost junctions’

Read: Irish Rail is fixing something that really annoys customers

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Daragh Brophy


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