Wait for M65 lights review, coroner told

The M65 where the lights are switched off

The M65 where the lights are switched off

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

THE Highways Agency has written to a coroner who questioned the organisation’s decision to turn off the lights on the M65 motorway.

Michael Singleton had asked bosses at the agency to reconsider the switch-off as he believed if something was not done, there could be further fatalities.

He said he intended to write following the death of Burnley-born Mark Burgess, 39, who was thrown from his car when he crashed near junction eight in darkness hours.

The Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley coroner has since received a letter from the government body telling him they are not prepared to change their minds until a review, which is due to be carried out later this year, is completed.

Mr Singleton said: “They have responded to me. The letter simply says they do not intend to do anything now, but they will review it in September three years from the date they switched the lights out.

“The law does not give me any powers beyond that.

“All I can do is bring it to the attention of the appropriate people.”

An inquest into Mr Burgess’ death found that the HGV driver, from Abbey Village, was two-and-a-half times over the legal drink drive limit and his accident last November would not have been prevented had there been lights.

But Mr Singleton, senior coroner for Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, said those caught up in the ‘carnage’ after the incident – when three cars and ambulance drove into the wreckage – would have had a chance of avoiding the debris if the lights were on. No one else was badly hurt in the incident.

It was also revealed at the inquest that the reflection of the cats’ eyes on the stretch was not adequate and that the part of the central barrier Mr Burgess crashed into did not meet current specifications, although it would have when the motorway was built.

The Highways Agency had planned to rectify these two issues.

The Lancashire Telegraph launched its Turn The Lights On campaign following Mr Burgess’ death after hearing from other motorists who said they crashed into objects in the carriageway as they had not been able to see them as they approached.

To sign the petition calling for the lights to be switched back on, CLICK HERE.

Comments (12)

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8:01pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Openminded? says...

Why is the LET not allowing comments on the 4 articles involving abuse by white community??
Why is the LET not allowing comments on the 4 articles involving abuse by white community?? Openminded?
  • Score: -7

8:07pm Wed 23 Apr 14

mmickk says...

LT still campaigning for the lights to be switched on because a drink driver was killed? There is no need for lights just drivers to take more care I use M65 at night so do hundreds of others. It was a drink driver end of if he had considered others before driving it would of not happened.
LT still campaigning for the lights to be switched on because a drink driver was killed? There is no need for lights just drivers to take more care I use M65 at night so do hundreds of others. It was a drink driver end of if he had considered others before driving it would of not happened. mmickk
  • Score: 9

9:05pm Wed 23 Apr 14

mmickk says...

Openminded? wrote:
Why is the LET not allowing comments on the 4 articles involving abuse by white community??
I would imagine to stop scum of the earth racists like you from commenting.
[quote][p][bold]Openminded?[/bold] wrote: Why is the LET not allowing comments on the 4 articles involving abuse by white community??[/p][/quote]I would imagine to stop scum of the earth racists like you from commenting. mmickk
  • Score: 8

9:08pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Openminded? says...

mmickk wrote:
Openminded? wrote:
Why is the LET not allowing comments on the 4 articles involving abuse by white community??
I would imagine to stop scum of the earth racists like you from commenting.
double standards come to mind.........
[quote][p][bold]mmickk[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Openminded?[/bold] wrote: Why is the LET not allowing comments on the 4 articles involving abuse by white community??[/p][/quote]I would imagine to stop scum of the earth racists like you from commenting.[/p][/quote]double standards come to mind......... Openminded?
  • Score: -7

10:51pm Wed 23 Apr 14

fireonthemountain says...

I have no interest whatsover in some of the above comments , accusing others of racism .

I will however comment on the lights situation on the M65 .

I am a professional driver by the way , and have taught others to drive .

I have utterly no sympathy for the morons who drink and drive , I would imprison them for a year and ban them from driving for ever .

Now , having said that - in my opinion the M65 is a horrible motorway .
The worst I know .

It is worse than the M62 "Death Valley" stretch .
Worse than the M18 junction with the A1M .
Even the M6 at Sandbach .
Let's not forget the M9 at Glasgow .

People - even sober - will continue to be killed on this .
Badly designed , an example would be the southbound M6 - M61 - M65 .

As for end of it near Preston - words fail me .
The turn off at Burnley ? That is so dangerous .
The turn off to the Hospital at Guide .

This is an awful road .

The least that can be done , after dark , is

TURN THE LIGHTS BACK ON .
I have no interest whatsover in some of the above comments , accusing others of racism . I will however comment on the lights situation on the M65 . I am a professional driver by the way , and have taught others to drive . I have utterly no sympathy for the morons who drink and drive , I would imprison them for a year and ban them from driving for ever . Now , having said that - in my opinion the M65 is a horrible motorway . The worst I know . It is worse than the M62 "Death Valley" stretch . Worse than the M18 junction with the A1M . Even the M6 at Sandbach . Let's not forget the M9 at Glasgow . People - even sober - will continue to be killed on this . Badly designed , an example would be the southbound M6 - M61 - M65 . As for end of it near Preston - words fail me . The turn off at Burnley ? That is so dangerous . The turn off to the Hospital at Guide . This is an awful road . The least that can be done , after dark , is TURN THE LIGHTS BACK ON . fireonthemountain
  • Score: 1

8:16am Thu 24 Apr 14

A Darener says...

It is NOT the road at fault! It is the DRIVERS!
It is NOT the road at fault! It is the DRIVERS! A Darener
  • Score: 6

10:28am Thu 24 Apr 14

rudis_dad says...

fireonthemountain wrote:
I have no interest whatsover in some of the above comments , accusing others of racism .

I will however comment on the lights situation on the M65 .

I am a professional driver by the way , and have taught others to drive .

I have utterly no sympathy for the morons who drink and drive , I would imprison them for a year and ban them from driving for ever .

Now , having said that - in my opinion the M65 is a horrible motorway .
The worst I know .

It is worse than the M62 "Death Valley" stretch .
Worse than the M18 junction with the A1M .
Even the M6 at Sandbach .
Let's not forget the M9 at Glasgow .

People - even sober - will continue to be killed on this .
Badly designed , an example would be the southbound M6 - M61 - M65 .

As for end of it near Preston - words fail me .
The turn off at Burnley ? That is so dangerous .
The turn off to the Hospital at Guide .

This is an awful road .

The least that can be done , after dark , is

TURN THE LIGHTS BACK ON .
The M65 is a perfectly good road if it is treated as such. The problem is that it is now not fit for purpose - it was designed and built at a time when traffic volumes were far lower than they are now. But if the volume of traffic has trebled in the last twenty years, the number of idiot drivers increased exponentially by comparison. The average motorist exhibits a standard of driving for below what should be considered acceptable, and the problem here lies with the Driving Standards Agency. The driving test does not reflect the knowledge and skills that are now required to drive safely and skilfully and Britain's roads; new motorists are taught how to pass a test, NOT how to drive - that is left up to them, but regrettably very many new drivers choose not to follow up their test pass with extra training or at the very least a little research. Add into that the fact that the police are simply now not capable of performing a proper service (through no fault of their own) and you have what is approaching a perfect storm.
[quote][p][bold]fireonthemountain[/bold] wrote: I have no interest whatsover in some of the above comments , accusing others of racism . I will however comment on the lights situation on the M65 . I am a professional driver by the way , and have taught others to drive . I have utterly no sympathy for the morons who drink and drive , I would imprison them for a year and ban them from driving for ever . Now , having said that - in my opinion the M65 is a horrible motorway . The worst I know . It is worse than the M62 "Death Valley" stretch . Worse than the M18 junction with the A1M . Even the M6 at Sandbach . Let's not forget the M9 at Glasgow . People - even sober - will continue to be killed on this . Badly designed , an example would be the southbound M6 - M61 - M65 . As for end of it near Preston - words fail me . The turn off at Burnley ? That is so dangerous . The turn off to the Hospital at Guide . This is an awful road . The least that can be done , after dark , is TURN THE LIGHTS BACK ON .[/p][/quote]The M65 is a perfectly good road if it is treated as such. The problem is that it is now not fit for purpose - it was designed and built at a time when traffic volumes were far lower than they are now. But if the volume of traffic has trebled in the last twenty years, the number of idiot drivers increased exponentially by comparison. The average motorist exhibits a standard of driving for below what should be considered acceptable, and the problem here lies with the Driving Standards Agency. The driving test does not reflect the knowledge and skills that are now required to drive safely and skilfully and Britain's roads; new motorists are taught how to pass a test, NOT how to drive - that is left up to them, but regrettably very many new drivers choose not to follow up their test pass with extra training or at the very least a little research. Add into that the fact that the police are simply now not capable of performing a proper service (through no fault of their own) and you have what is approaching a perfect storm. rudis_dad
  • Score: 1

8:19pm Thu 24 Apr 14

phil kernot says...

Trying to save our road tax money by making it more dangerous to drive ,,, Did you know when you fill in your v5 and send it in your saying I give. Authority for the dvla ( commercial business) to charge me road tax and i will stick to your terms and conditions ,, pay road tax ,, blah blah ,,sign here etc its a contract ,,, but you can de register it back to your self and be exempt ,, your right to travel can not be taxed ,, but your right to drive can be ,if your a business,,, ,, the people need to fight back legally and wake up , as we're being deceived in a big way..... Goverments do lie we all know that now ,,, No lights no road tax ,,,,
Trying to save our road tax money by making it more dangerous to drive ,,, Did you know when you fill in your v5 and send it in your saying I give. Authority for the dvla ( commercial business) to charge me road tax and i will stick to your terms and conditions ,, pay road tax ,, blah blah ,,sign here etc its a contract ,,, but you can de register it back to your self and be exempt ,, your right to travel can not be taxed ,, but your right to drive can be ,if your a business,,, ,, the people need to fight back legally and wake up , as we're being deceived in a big way..... Goverments do lie we all know that now ,,, No lights no road tax ,,,, phil kernot
  • Score: 1

9:36pm Thu 24 Apr 14

John05 says...

phil kernot wrote:
Trying to save our road tax money by making it more dangerous to drive ,,, Did you know when you fill in your v5 and send it in your saying I give. Authority for the dvla ( commercial business) to charge me road tax and i will stick to your terms and conditions ,, pay road tax ,, blah blah ,,sign here etc its a contract ,,, but you can de register it back to your self and be exempt ,, your right to travel can not be taxed ,, but your right to drive can be ,if your a business,,, ,, the people need to fight back legally and wake up , as we're being deceived in a big way..... Goverments do lie we all know that now ,,, No lights no road tax ,,,,
It's Vehicle Excise Duty, a fee based on the CO2 produced by your vehicle. There hasn't been road tax since Winston Churchill's time and what you pay in VED doesn't go towards maintaining roads.
[quote][p][bold]phil kernot[/bold] wrote: Trying to save our road tax money by making it more dangerous to drive ,,, Did you know when you fill in your v5 and send it in your saying I give. Authority for the dvla ( commercial business) to charge me road tax and i will stick to your terms and conditions ,, pay road tax ,, blah blah ,,sign here etc its a contract ,,, but you can de register it back to your self and be exempt ,, your right to travel can not be taxed ,, but your right to drive can be ,if your a business,,, ,, the people need to fight back legally and wake up , as we're being deceived in a big way..... Goverments do lie we all know that now ,,, No lights no road tax ,,,,[/p][/quote]It's Vehicle Excise Duty, a fee based on the CO2 produced by your vehicle. There hasn't been road tax since Winston Churchill's time and what you pay in VED doesn't go towards maintaining roads. John05
  • Score: 1

10:17pm Thu 24 Apr 14

fireonthemountain says...

Well - perhaps I might be allowed to elaborate on my previous comment .

I will certainly agree that the standard of driving is atrocious .

I can and have driven (and am legal to do so) , double deckers loaded with school-kids ; heavy and wide artics under Police Escort .

Now - I was once driving down the M6 in Cumbria at over 80 mph in torrentail rain , in a fast and powerful car . Yes I know that I have just confessed to something that may seem illegal and dangerous .

Not if you are driving a safe car , and have the ability to do so .

We were overtaken by a Toyota - I said to the wife , that he was going to crash . He did . Not a happy ending I am sad to say .

So - to sum up .

Certainly rules have to change .

I would raise the driving age to 21 . The thought that someone can pass
while a teenager can then drive a Ferrari is clearly ridiculous . Someone can pass then go on a motorway is asking for trouble . Pass on a scooter then drive a Harley - you are kidding me .

May I respectfully ask every single person who reads this to change their driving habits ? Go to what is called "Defensive Driving" - not just not hitting the other person , but ensuring he/she doesn't hit you .

Lastly - there are dangerous roads about .
Don't get me started on potholes !
The M65 is a shocker . I really know what I am talking about .

More deaths will occur , unless at night , they

SWITCH THE LIGHTS BACK ON .
Well - perhaps I might be allowed to elaborate on my previous comment . I will certainly agree that the standard of driving is atrocious . I can and have driven (and am legal to do so) , double deckers loaded with school-kids ; heavy and wide artics under Police Escort . Now - I was once driving down the M6 in Cumbria at over 80 mph in torrentail rain , in a fast and powerful car . Yes I know that I have just confessed to something that may seem illegal and dangerous . Not if you are driving a safe car , and have the ability to do so . We were overtaken by a Toyota - I said to the wife , that he was going to crash . He did . Not a happy ending I am sad to say . So - to sum up . Certainly rules have to change . I would raise the driving age to 21 . The thought that someone can pass while a teenager can then drive a Ferrari is clearly ridiculous . Someone can pass then go on a motorway is asking for trouble . Pass on a scooter then drive a Harley - you are kidding me . May I respectfully ask every single person who reads this to change their driving habits ? Go to what is called "Defensive Driving" - not just not hitting the other person , but ensuring he/she doesn't hit you . Lastly - there are dangerous roads about . Don't get me started on potholes ! The M65 is a shocker . I really know what I am talking about . More deaths will occur , unless at night , they SWITCH THE LIGHTS BACK ON . fireonthemountain
  • Score: -1

10:49pm Thu 24 Apr 14

John05 says...

It's true to a large extent that there is no such thing as a dangerous road, only dangerous drivers. However, it's common sense that switching the street lights back on will make it far easier for even the most careful and observant drivers to drive safely. It's foolish and arrogant to take away an important safety feature from roads, such as lighting, and say that drivers ought to be good enough to do without them.

The Highways Authority is willing to invest in dangerous schemes such as managed motorways, where people can drive on the hard shoulder and broken down vehicles have few places to stop. I believe these are leading to increasing numbers of people using the hard shoulder to sneak past traffic queues on non managed sections. They then claim they can't afford to have street lights switched on.

We also have to put up with the introduction of many unnecessarily low speed limits that are clearly lower than is necessary or practical for the roads where they're introduced. These lead to impatience and risky overtaking and of course there are all the fixed and mobile speed traps to rake in money as people panic brake on seeing them. All this is in the name of road safety.

The Highways Authority and local councils need to pay attention to what people want and can see they need in terms of ensuring road safety rather than ploughing ahead with ill thought out ideas that don't strike the right balance between finances and safety and only serve to annoy people.
It's true to a large extent that there is no such thing as a dangerous road, only dangerous drivers. However, it's common sense that switching the street lights back on will make it far easier for even the most careful and observant drivers to drive safely. It's foolish and arrogant to take away an important safety feature from roads, such as lighting, and say that drivers ought to be good enough to do without them. The Highways Authority is willing to invest in dangerous schemes such as managed motorways, where people can drive on the hard shoulder and broken down vehicles have few places to stop. I believe these are leading to increasing numbers of people using the hard shoulder to sneak past traffic queues on non managed sections. They then claim they can't afford to have street lights switched on. We also have to put up with the introduction of many unnecessarily low speed limits that are clearly lower than is necessary or practical for the roads where they're introduced. These lead to impatience and risky overtaking and of course there are all the fixed and mobile speed traps to rake in money as people panic brake on seeing them. All this is in the name of road safety. The Highways Authority and local councils need to pay attention to what people want and can see they need in terms of ensuring road safety rather than ploughing ahead with ill thought out ideas that don't strike the right balance between finances and safety and only serve to annoy people. John05
  • Score: 0

8:44pm Fri 25 Apr 14

John05 says...

fireonthemountain wrote:
Well - perhaps I might be allowed to elaborate on my previous comment .

I will certainly agree that the standard of driving is atrocious .

I can and have driven (and am legal to do so) , double deckers loaded with school-kids ; heavy and wide artics under Police Escort .

Now - I was once driving down the M6 in Cumbria at over 80 mph in torrentail rain , in a fast and powerful car . Yes I know that I have just confessed to something that may seem illegal and dangerous .

Not if you are driving a safe car , and have the ability to do so .

We were overtaken by a Toyota - I said to the wife , that he was going to crash . He did . Not a happy ending I am sad to say .

So - to sum up .

Certainly rules have to change .

I would raise the driving age to 21 . The thought that someone can pass
while a teenager can then drive a Ferrari is clearly ridiculous . Someone can pass then go on a motorway is asking for trouble . Pass on a scooter then drive a Harley - you are kidding me .

May I respectfully ask every single person who reads this to change their driving habits ? Go to what is called "Defensive Driving" - not just not hitting the other person , but ensuring he/she doesn't hit you .

Lastly - there are dangerous roads about .
Don't get me started on potholes !
The M65 is a shocker . I really know what I am talking about .

More deaths will occur , unless at night , they

SWITCH THE LIGHTS BACK ON .
Whether someone is 17 or 21, their level of maturity and ability is unlikely to be very different. Raising the driving age to 21 will make life very difficult for people going to university and starting out in the world of work.

We need a government that doesn't think in little boxes and statistics when it comes to implementing laws regarding safe driving. We all know about how much more likely it is for a child to die when hit at 30mph than when hit at 20mph and so on and so on. What really matters is people driving roadworthy cars and paying proper attention. People being able to take in everything going on around them and up ahead on the road and consider what potential dangers could arise next.

The test at the moment is too basic and people are allowed out on the road with no idea about proper observation and planning skills. All they know is that speed apparently kills and overtaking is the root of all evil. So we have far too many people bimbling around in cars with bald tyres and no oil in the engine talking on their phones and doing their make up and thinking they're safer than all the maniacs going faster.
[quote][p][bold]fireonthemountain[/bold] wrote: Well - perhaps I might be allowed to elaborate on my previous comment . I will certainly agree that the standard of driving is atrocious . I can and have driven (and am legal to do so) , double deckers loaded with school-kids ; heavy and wide artics under Police Escort . Now - I was once driving down the M6 in Cumbria at over 80 mph in torrentail rain , in a fast and powerful car . Yes I know that I have just confessed to something that may seem illegal and dangerous . Not if you are driving a safe car , and have the ability to do so . We were overtaken by a Toyota - I said to the wife , that he was going to crash . He did . Not a happy ending I am sad to say . So - to sum up . Certainly rules have to change . I would raise the driving age to 21 . The thought that someone can pass while a teenager can then drive a Ferrari is clearly ridiculous . Someone can pass then go on a motorway is asking for trouble . Pass on a scooter then drive a Harley - you are kidding me . May I respectfully ask every single person who reads this to change their driving habits ? Go to what is called "Defensive Driving" - not just not hitting the other person , but ensuring he/she doesn't hit you . Lastly - there are dangerous roads about . Don't get me started on potholes ! The M65 is a shocker . I really know what I am talking about . More deaths will occur , unless at night , they SWITCH THE LIGHTS BACK ON .[/p][/quote]Whether someone is 17 or 21, their level of maturity and ability is unlikely to be very different. Raising the driving age to 21 will make life very difficult for people going to university and starting out in the world of work. We need a government that doesn't think in little boxes and statistics when it comes to implementing laws regarding safe driving. We all know about how much more likely it is for a child to die when hit at 30mph than when hit at 20mph and so on and so on. What really matters is people driving roadworthy cars and paying proper attention. People being able to take in everything going on around them and up ahead on the road and consider what potential dangers could arise next. The test at the moment is too basic and people are allowed out on the road with no idea about proper observation and planning skills. All they know is that speed apparently kills and overtaking is the root of all evil. So we have far too many people bimbling around in cars with bald tyres and no oil in the engine talking on their phones and doing their make up and thinking they're safer than all the maniacs going faster. John05
  • Score: 1

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