The £15 million of extra funding to repair and upgrade traffic signals in England will have a real effect on traffic management, new research has shown.
The Transport Technology Forum surveyed 83 local authorities’ operation as part of the application process for the signals maintenance challenge fund for the Department for Transport which also involves the granting of between £250,000 and £500,000 in extra maintenance grants for 39 authorities.
Research by the TTF, conducted as part of the signals challenge process found that investment in traffic signals and urban traffic control is vital to improving signal network, given that nearly half of authorities questioned have a signals maintenance backlog of more than a million pounds. Meanwhile, nearly two out of five authorities are spending an average of £100,000 on fault repairs, meaning that the grants to upgrade equipment to be more reliable will be extremely cost-effective in the long run.
The research also found that around a third of authorities have no or only a small number of SCOOT or MOVA adaptively controlled signalised junctions, which means there is real potential to make an immediate difference to traffic and the safety of active travel by upgrading signalling.
Meanwhile, the vast majority – more than 80% – of authorities are yet to make the most of wireless or mobile advances in communications, while two thirds are not using highspeed connectivity. The TTF sees this as a potential “quick win” for authorities.
“The more we look into the real-world state of our traffic signals the more potential we are finding for relatively inexpensive but important improvements – including repairs, refurbishment or simply retuning systems – to deliver benefits for traffic flow generally and for promoting active travel,” said TTF Chair Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation. “The Transport Technology Forum isn’t just about promoting cutting-edge technology, our interest is in making sure we get the best out of traffic technology in the round, and this DfT-funded project is a great example.”
The Traffic Signals Challenge Fund is provided by the Department for Transport as additional local roads and integrated transport funding and managed through the Transport Technology Forum with support from the Local Council Roads Innovation Group, LCRIG.
The value of this project will be examined at the Transport Technology Forum Annual Conference which takes place in Liverpool from 17-19 May. Details are here.
(Picture – TTF)