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More motorists are set to be in the dark as the Highways Agency considers introducing government-sanctioned changes to dim or turn off street lights on motorways and A-roads around Britain.

The Agency already controls the lights on more than 80 miles of highway across the country during low-traffic or high visibility hours, and intends to survey a further 2,500 miles of A-roads it controls in an effort to further cut costs.

Plans are sure to see motorists searching for car parts online as they upgrade their headlamps to increase visibility when driving at night.

Norman Baker, local transport minister, backed the initiative in a letter to parliament, writing: "It is right that lighting authorities consider, in the interest of cost-saving and the environment, whether lighting can be sensibly dimmed or turned off, consistent with proper safety assessments."

Technology is already in place to monitor traffic volume and control lighting individually and remotely, according to Nigel Parry of the Institution of Lighting Professionals. He told the Telegraph: "When the traffic disappears you can dim them. You can maintain safety and use half as much energy."