CONCERNED coroner Michael Singleton will call Highways Agency bosses before him when he holds a second inquest into M65 crash deaths to ask why they ignored his warnings over lighting.

He has welcomed a £325,000 scheme announced this week to re-light the slip roads at junction 8 and the installation of new white lines and cats eyes on the crucial section of the motorway but is unhappy the lamps are not being turned back on.


Mr Singleton has joined local MPs in calling for full lighting to be restored between between junctions 4 and 10. The East Lancashire Coroner held the inquest into the death of Mark Burgess near Junction 8 in November 2013.

After the hearing in February last year he wrote to the Highways Agency backing the Lancashire Telegraph’s ‘Turn the Light on Campaign’ calling for the street lamps to be brought back.

Mr Singleton now expects to hold an inquest late this year into the deaths of best friends Mohammed Iqbal and Mazafer Iqbal between Junctions 9 and 10 in July .

He said: “The work on white lines and cats eyes is a small step forward but does not go far enough.

“This is an improvement and is welcome but more is needed. The lights need to be restored. I wrote to the Highways Agency about this after the inquest into Mr Burgess’s death calling for the lights on this particular section of the M65 to be switched back on.

“I expect to hold an inquest on the deaths of the Iqbals and when I do I will call the Highways Agency to explain why they did not act on my letter. I am not calling for all motorways lights to be switched on. This is about a specific section of the M65. There is not enough traffic for people to follow the tail lights of the vehicles in front but too much to put full beam on for fear of dazzling oncoming traffic.

“There is no borrowed lighting from elsewhere and not enough dipped headlight illumination from a steady flow of vehicles in both directions. I warned the Highways Agency about this after Mr Burgess’s death and then we had another fatal accident.

“When I hold the second inquest, I will want to know from the Highways Agency why nothing was done.”

Mr Burgess’s girlfriend Kirsty Tipping, of Abbey Village, said: “This is small improvement but it’s simply not enough.” We just need the lights back on to make this stretch of motorway safe.”