The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) has welcomed the publication of a Department for Transport (DfT) research report on switching off traffic signals during “low demand periods”.
The DfT commissioned the desktop study to investigate options for signal controlled installations that could reduce unnecessary delays to traffic; reduce the energy consumption of signal installations; and maintain or enhance levels of safety, especially for vulnerable road users.
Richard Hayes, president of the IHE, welcomed the report ‘Operation of Traffic Signals during Low Demand Periods’, which was published earlier this month.
He said: “We have a strong contingent of traffic signal engineers amongst our membership and a very active traffic signals group who have been debating the issues around switching traffic signals off for many years.
Norman Baker, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, said: “What we are not doing is imposing on Local Authorities a blanket solution. What we are trying to do is provide some options and helpful guidance, put more paint on the pallet, if you like, for Local Authorities to play with in terms of what they think is right for their area.
“In terms of switching lights off, it may well be the case that lights can be switched off during light periods; that is for Local Authorities in their individual roles to assess.”
Mr Hayes added: “Norman’s contribution to the symposium was very welcome and we take heart from what is obviously a constructive contribution to this on-going debate. Our and other signal engineers will study the research in depth and we thank the Department for its timely publication.”
Click here to view the DfT report.