Cash-strapped councils leaving drivers in the dark


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A new survey has revealed that four in 10 British motorists believe that the roads are darker than they were a year ago, thanks to hard-up councils switching off or dimming street lights in a bid to save money.

The research, carried out by automotive manufacturer Suzuki, asked 2,000 British motorists about their winter driving habits and found that a staggering 41 per cent felt that UK roads are getting darker.

In some regions, an even larger proportion of drivers have noticed a reduction in lighting. In the North West of England, half (50 per cent) of drivers said they noticed a reduction in streetlights.

The dark streets obviously pose a problem to drivers struggling to see in the gloomy conditions but the survey also revealed that vehicles are more likely to suffer from pothole damage as they strike unseen imperfections in the road.

Alun Parry of Suzuki said: "Night driving with less street lighting is going to be more difficult than ever. Poor lighting or none at all can make it very difficult for motorists to see hazards or objects clearly at night, so extra vigilance will be needed."

"It's important to be 100 per cent sure that your car lights are working properly. At this time of year, it's particularly easy for drivers to get caught out – not realising that they have a defective bulb or that wipers are not clearing the screen correctly."

The Suzuki spokesperson added: "Nearly half of the UK's fatal and serious injuries happen between 7pm and 8am, despite less traffic on the roads, meaning that drivers need to be more vigilant and take less risks on dark winter roads."