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Traffic Signals

Traffic signsTraffic lights, or traffic signals, are a series of interlinked coloured lights that are used as signaling devices positioned at road intersections, pedestrian crossing and other location to control competing flows of traffic on each arm of the intersection.
They assign the right of way to road users by the use of lights in standard colors (Red - Amber - Green), Signal equipment and control techniques have evolved to cope with a wide range of intersections, layouts and complex traffic demands. Documents in this section cover control principles, signal equipment, operation, layout of controlled junctions, facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, urban traffic control and signal computer software. You can refine your search by selecting a narrower topic heading listed below.
 

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Documents

Title Document type Published Publisher
Prevention of Strikes on Bridges - A protocol for Highway Managers & Bridge Owners - Issue 2

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The Protocol gives guidance and advice to Highway Authorities and Bridge Owners to prevent strikes on bridges that span public highways

Primary Doc. 11/07/14 Department for Transport Add icon
The ITS (UK) 2014 Review

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The 2014 ITS United Kingdom Review contains a wide range of articles by experts on Intelligent Transport Systems topics.

General Information 04/06/14 ITS-UK Add icon
Guide to Intelligent Transport Systems for Local Authorities

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An introduction to the use of Intelligent Transport Systems for Local Authority Officers. This Guide is intended for readers who work in transport but are new to ITS as a topic.

General Information 22/05/14 ITS-UK Add icon
DSOPM004: Pedestrian Crossings

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This I’DGO design guidance relates to relates to pedestrian crossings. It was first published (in print and online) in July 2013 and launched at the annual conference of the Local Government Association. It is part of The Design of Streets with Older People in Mind; a toolkit for those who plan, design and maintain the public realm. It can be used as an aid to assessing the ‘walkability‘ of local neighbourhoods, particularly with regards to pedestrian safety and comfort. The guidance is based on the views over 1,600 pedestrians, street audits and key sources of existing UK guidance. It includes advice on providing accessible crossing amenities that send out a consistent message to all users and flags the importance of raising awareness among pedestrians as to how crossings work and why.

Secondary Doc. 02/07/13 Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO) Add icon
Operation od Traffic Signals During Low Demands

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Traffic signal design is a science that has been developed through decades to a point where the maximum efficiency can be squeezed out of the most congested of junctions. Conflicting needs of all road users are measured, evaluated and optimised such that the ever-increasing and varying demands continue to be managed with ingenuity and perfection. But roads aren’t always busy. In many cases the very justification for signal control is based on a problem that may only exist for a couple of hours each weekday. Even the most congested networks have their quiet moment, yet, in a deserted city at 3 in the morning, signals still cycle for non-existent traffic. Any driver who ventures into this scenario may sit in frustration at a red light while the ‘intelligent’ control system optimises the signals for phantom conflicting demands. In other countries various techniques are applied to ‘demote’ signalised junctions to priority mode of operation, for example the flashing amber on main road/flashing red on minor road employed in some States of the USA, or signals that simply turn off overnight as in parts of Europe.

Research 04/10/12 Department for Transport Add icon
Traffic Management Techniques for Cyclists: Final Report

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This report focuses on a project undertaken for the Department for Transport (Traffic Management Division) in March 2011 entitled Investigation of Options for Traffic Management Techniques for Cyclists at Signallised Junctions in the Urban Environment. It describes the outcome of a desktop study that investigates the techniques that are in common usage both in the UK and overseas for cyclist provision at traffic signals.

Research 24/09/12 Department for Transport Add icon
DSOPM003: Tactile Paving

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This I’DGO design guidance relates to relates to tactile paving. It was first published (in print and online) in September 2012. It is part of The Design of Streets with Older People in Mind; a toolkit for those who plan, design and maintain the public realm. It can be used as an aid to assessing the ‘walkability‘ of local neighbourhoods, particularly with regards to the safety and comfort of footways. The guidance is based on the views of over 1,400 pedestrians, street audits, laboratory tests and key sources of existing UK guidance. It includes advice on the siting, laying and maintenance of blister and corduroy paving, including which colours and materials to specify.

Secondary Doc. 06/09/12 Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO) Add icon
Trials of farside pedestrian signals at a Puffin crossing

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Puffin facilities were devised to increase pedestrian convenience and safety, reduce the number of unnecessary stops for drivers, and provide clearer and consistent signals to road-users by eliminating the flashing sequence at mid-block crossings and the pedestrian signal blackout at junctions. A feature of Puffin crossings is nearside pedestrian signals, the benefits being improved pedestrian compliance, comprehension and observation. However, concern has been expressed on the masking of the nearside signal and the absence of a visible signal once on the crossing. An on-street trial was commissioned by Transport Scotland at a Puffin crossing in Edinburgh fitted with both nearside and farside pedestrian aspects. The study sought to provide recommendations on the standard form of signalised pedestrian crossings in the Disability Discrimination Act: Good Practice Guide for Roads (Transport Scotland, 2009). Overall, the effects of the introduction of the farside signal were neutral or negative, except for the pedestrians’ stated preference for the modified arrangement.

Research 11/06/12 Transport Research Laboratory Add icon
ITS United Kingdom Spring 2012 Review

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The Spring 2012 ITS (UK) Review contains useful articles on control room management, Intelligent Cities, public transport information systems, camera based enforcement, national traffic management systems, ITS infrastructure, and in-vehicle information systems

General Information 17/05/12 ITS-UK Add icon
TAL 1/12: The Traffic Signs (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations and General Directions 2011

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The Traffic Signs (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations and General Directions 2011 (SI 2011 No. 3041) further amends the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (“TSRGD 2002” – SI 2002 No. 3113) and came into force on 30 January 2012. Copies of the new SI are available from TSO at a price of £27.25 each. In addition to SI 2011 No. 3041, this Traffic Advisory Leaflet also contains guidance relating to the other sets of amendment regulations listed below, which came into force since the introduction of TSRGD 2002. Therefore, in addition to the current editions of Traffic Signs Manual, this document should be read in conjunction with the listed SIs and associated Traffic Advisory Leaflets, by all those involved in designing and implementing traffic management schemes and in road traffic regulation generally. While this Traffic Advisory Leaflet is intended to assist readers, it is neither legal advice nor a substitute for reference to the relevant legislation - and should not be relied on as such.

General Information 07/03/12 Department for Transport Add icon
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