Ensuring road users have safe, comfortable and efficient journeys is a hugely complex feat of management. Junctions, roundabouts and crossings must be designed to optimise flows of vehicles and people, and traffic signals must respond in real time to congestion. Local Authorities must plan road upgrades, minimise disruption from infrastructure projects, and be ready to respond when incidents occur.
As we move into 2020, the problem is only becoming more complex. The traffic industry is evolving at a rate unseen before. Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) driving through London. Six times the number of cyclists on the road compared to 40years ago. More than 100 miles of Smart Motorways, with an additional 300 miles promised by 2025. Revolutionary changes in technology are taking us to the threshold of a bold and unprecedented era in transportation. There is more unknown than ever before– will we have naked roads? Will 5G be used to share data and what security risks will that bring? Will Electric Vehicles rule the roads?
With all this uncertainty, one thing is for sure. We need to get the basics right. There is no use planning for the future, if that means we lose sight of getting things right now. We need to cut through the complexity of the industry to ensure the road user has a smooth journey with existing infrastructure. It’s amazing that CAVs might help reduce fatal collisions in the future, but journeys need to be safer now. Electrical vehicles may help reduce emissions as they become more adopted, but what about now? Creating a more liveable environment, not just on our roads but our planet too, requires us to take steps now. This means we need to work with the current infrastructure and maximise its potential.
It’s not a recent discovery that traffic signals are emission hotspots. The amount of time spent at signalised junctions is relatively low compared to the time spent on the rest of the network However, this short duration contributes to a large portion of total exposure to harmful particles and gasses. Reducing the amount of time spent at traffic signalised junctions, can help diminish this exposure. Optimising signal timings is not only important for those at the junctions itself, it can have an important effect of levels on traffic congestion on the wider network.
Ensuring you have the right fixed time signal plan is not easy. This is why, based on decades of research and development, TRANSYT is so important. A globally used product, TRANSYT is used for optimising traffic signals at single junctions and large traffic networks of mixed control. It is designed specifically to give quick solutions with minimal user input, and also more considered solutions when needed. Using TRANSYT now means you don’t have to wait for the deployment of future technologies to make the roads more liveable. Developing optimal signal plans is maximising the assets you have on the road right now.