Feeds

Traffic-light plague sweeps UK: Safety culture strangles Blighty

Stealthy 2005 gov rule favoured feet over wheels

Boost IT visibility and business value

So, where can I get a special 'I'm a bus' transponder that makes the lights turn green?

Full pedestrian stages are now normal across the nation, a new measure which has been official policy since 2005, and the DfT itself admits that "of all the options it has the worst effect on junction capacity ... Also it can produce a long cycle time and a pedestrian arriving at the end of the invitation period has a lengthy wait".

The report says:

The introduction of full pedestrian crossing stages at traffic lights represents a major policy shift which has taken place without any analysis of the benefits in terms of accident reduction and time savings for pedestrians or the costs in terms of delay to traffic.

In London full pedestrian crossing stages generally happen only if a traffic-light button is pushed, but this isn't very helpful at busy junctions except in the middle of the night.

Yass notes that many other countries, including the USA and France, don't have quite such a rigid approach to pedestrian safety: in those nations there is much use of rules which let traffic turn across pedestrian crossings (giving priority to the pedestrian) and of blinking-amber traffic lights at times of low traffic, signalling that drivers may use their own judgement.

The report also goes into the interaction of traffic lights and buses or trams, noting that it's now very common for lights to be aware of bus movements via tracking systems and in many cases to hold a green until a bus is through or bring forward a green to suit an approaching bus. This might cause some motorists to grind their teeth (or alternatively, to try to obtain a fake bus transponder). However, Yass says that actually this is not a bad thing for other drivers, provided that the technology is used as part of an integrated network of interlinked traffic lights such as the SCOOT (split-cycle offset optimisation technique) net which governs many of London's lights and is also popular in urban areas elsewhere.

With SCOOT control bus priority need involve only minimal delay to other traffic: the signals can be set so that bus priority will be given only if subsequent signal stages can adjust automatically to give reasonable compensation to other traffic.

Yass is down, however, on recently seen plans where bus lanes get a green before other traffic does. According to his analysis this is simply a product of dogmatic "bus good, car/truck bad" thinking, perhaps much prevalent in some city governments in recent times.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.