Intelligent traffic solution and technology business SWARCO UK & Ireland has signed what it calls a “significant” new contract with Swansea Council to design, install and maintain a bespoke vehicle activated signage solution to support the new 20mph national speed limits, and warn drivers of their high speeds.
In March, the Welsh Government passed a new law which will see the default speed limit on restricted roads in Wales reduce from 30mph to 20mph, the new law is due to come into force in September 2023. To support the upcoming changes to the speed limit, local authorities in Wales are working to make the necessary alterations to existing highway signage to ensure drivers are aware of the changes to the law.
Following an open competitive tender process on Sell2Wales in late 2022, Swansea Council entered into a commercial contract with SWARCO to replace its existing Vehicle Speed Activated Signs (VAS) with new electronic sign units that dynamically display the approaching vehicle’s actual speed. These signs will display the vehicle speed in ‘GREEN’ if the vehicle is complying with the new default speed limit and in ‘RED’ if not. This new contract is designed to work in co-ordination with an existing service and maintenance contract which was already in place.
The new agreement will see SWARCO install 120 bespoke vehicle activated signs (VAS) throughout Swansea. The signs, which are all manufactured and rigorously tested at SWARCO’s factory in Melsonby, North Yorkshire, are specifically designed to meet the specific requirements of the council and feature SWARCO’s patented EPIX lens technology system to ensure the lowest power consumption.
The signs use a radar to detect vehicle speeds and use an energy efficient LED display to clearly show messages to oncoming drivers, as well as being equipped with highly intelligent internal data logging, which is stored within the signs, to provide statistical feedback and data on the number of activations, vehicle speeds and volumes, meaning the council will be able to easily monitor changing driver behaviour.
Neil Holland, Traffic Engineer at Swansea Council said: “We are pleased to be working with SWARCO to install this vital traffic management equipment – which should help to encourage motorists to lower their speed when new Government legislation relating to urban traffic speeds comes into force in the coming months.
“The forthcoming changes to the restricted road default speed limit in Wales has given us the opportunity to take advantage of technological advances in speed reduction, positively affect driver behaviour and reinforce the message that lower vehicle speeds lead directly to a reduction in both the likelihood of highway collisions occurring and the severity of any that do unfortunately occur. It is hoped that this will promote a shift towards a safer Welsh Highway network for future generations.”
“We are pleased to further extend our working relationship with Swansea Council,” says Derek Williamson, Business Development Manager at SWARCO UK & Ireland. “We have worked closely with them to fully understand their requirements, and have designed a high quality, reliable, durable and energy efficient solution that delivers a low lifetime cost.”
(Picture – SWARCO)