An innovative and original approach to reducing lane transgression on a multi-lane roundabout has continued to attract widespread industry recognition, with its recent receipt of the National Transport Award for the Most Innovative Transport Project, being the scheme’s fourth independent award this year.
Connecting several key roads around Edinburgh and handling upward of 42,000 vehicles a day, the A720 Sheriffhall Roundabout has the potential to become very congested at peak times, so any incidents can bring about major disruption. Following a Stage 4 Road Safety Audit in 2014 that cited poor lane discipline as the prime cause of collisions at the roundabout, Clearview Intelligence, working alongside BEAR Scotland and current incumbents Amey, for Transport Scotland, installed an innovative intelligent road stud solution on the roundabout, the first of its type in the UK.
The audit had suggested that lane transgression was likely to be due to the level of difficulty that certain drivers may experience in understanding and reacting to the complexity of the junction. The solution uses Clearview’s IRS2 active LED road studs triggered by green phases of traffic signals on the roundabout. As soon as the traffic signal on the entrance to the roundabout turns green, studs embedded in the road surface immediately illuminate and guide drivers onto the appropriate lanes of the roundabout. As the traffic signal turns red, all of the studs on that section switch off and the studs at the next section illuminate as the corresponding traffic signal turns green. Drivers now get an illuminated green phase to guide them all the way around and off the roundabout, with clear visual definition of the lanes to heighten discipline and reduce preventable collisions.
Independent evaluation by researchers from the Transport Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University conducted a full ‘before and after’ study on driver behavior at the roundabout, with over 55,000 individual vehicle movements analyzed. The research to date has found a reduction in lane transgression activity across nearly all vehicle types and maneuvers, even during daylight hours, with a significant reduction in transgression rate (>50%) for medium-sized vehicles.
Overall, the study has concluded that the intelligent road stud scheme has significant positive impact on collision risk at the roundabout through reduced lane transgressions, meaning less congestion and fewer accidents.
With such strong and positive research results to back up the effectiveness of the solution, the scheme has now won four major industry awards in 2016:
* National Transport Awards Most Innovative Transport Project;
* Highways Magazine Excellence Awards Road Marking Project of the Year;
* Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) John Smart Road Safety Award;
* Scottish Transport Awards Excellence in Technology and Innovation Award.
The CIHT judges commented, “The panel was impressed by this solution to poor lane discipline leading to high collision frequency. Benefits are strong, with ‘after’ casualty rates better than half those previously recorded and improvements in all conditions. There is good scope for application to other locations where similar problems occur.”