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Regular news: Issue 542 1 Apr 2010

Mayor identifies 140 traffic signals for removal

Transport for London has identified 140 traffic signals across the capital that may no longer perform a useful role and could be removed.

Officials are finalising the collection of data on traffic flows and accidents from each site to verify that the signals are no longer useful in traffic, pedestrian or safety terms.

David Brown, TfL’s managing director for surface transport, told last week’s meeting of the TfL board that 28 sets of traffic signals had already been removed in the capital this financial year, ten of which were on TfL’s road network.

Board members also received an update on the proposed trial of pedestrian ‘countdown’ signals. TfL submitted plans to the DfT at the beginning of March to trial the technology at eight locations in the capital. If approval is granted the first trial site could be installed as early as June.

Countdown signals will show pedestrians how many seconds are left in the ‘blackout’ period – the phase between the green man being extinguished and road traffic receiving a green light.

Brown also provided the board with details of TfL’s lane rental plans under which utility companies would have to pay a charge for the time they occupy the road when conducting streetworks.

Brown said utility companies could avoid paying the charge if they undertook work at non-traffic sensitive times or employed “innovative working practices” so that the carriageway was returned to traffic use at peak times.

Brown said TfL’s plans would need amendments to existing legislation. Lane rental powers were included in the New Roads and Streetworks Act but have only ever been trialled, in Camden and Middlesbrough.

Transport minister Sadiq Khan said in December that the DfT would consult on lane rental this summer and that regulations could be introduced in October 2011. They would only be available for use on the “most sensitive roads in the most congested urban areas”.


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