Technology driving cycle safety improvements at a busy junction in West Sussex

The latest technology is being used at a busy crossroads in Felpham, West Sussex to improve safety for cyclists.

The Felpham Road, Felpham Way and Downview Road junction is the first in the UK to use new software, provided by provided by the County Council’s traffic signals contractor, Telent, which allows bespoke traffic monitoring from individual sensors.

The new sensors have enabled Highway officers to monitor the first six months of usage – with data available remotely every 15 minutes. It has shown an encouraging uptake by cyclists in using the pre-start facilities. However, some motor vehicles are stopping within the new cycle-only boxes. 

A West Sussex Highways spokesperson said: “These improvements have been provided for the sake of all road users and for cyclists’ safety in particular, so we would appeal to motorists to please respect the new layout and timings.

“The specialist detectors have specific zones set for cyclists within the green boxes and sensors for all other traffic. Remembering to stop in the appropriate position is not only encouraged for safety and the efficient operation of the traffic controls, but the new positions are also enforceable by law.”

Technology at the crossroads include:

  • Green road-surface boxes for cyclists only to stop at so they are ahead of other queuing traffic on all four of the crossroad’s approaches. Motorists, including motorcyclists, must stop at the first white stop line reached if the traffic lights are at amber or red.  The green cycle boxes and secondary stop line closest to the junction are for cyclist only.
  • Signal timings to give cyclists a head start to proceed before other traffic and live streaming cameras for improved remote monitoring
  • New traffic signal equipment for the detection of cyclists
  • Low-level traffic signals for improved visibility for cyclists
  • The southern arm has been reduced from a two-lane approach to single lane to accommodate the lead-in cycle lane.

County Council Bikeability instructor Rob Piatt is pictured above experiencing the new junction and said:  “I’m an experienced, confident cyclist. However, I’m keen to see inexperienced cyclists able to ride the same way as me. These green boxes and new lights go some way to helping that.

“If motorists are presented with very clear parameters and the spaces are designed so cyclists can pull away from the junction quickly and can feel safe in doing so, then there is less chance for conflict or confusion.”

The junction improvements cost approximately £55,000.

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