A road safety initiative installed at a dangerous crossroad junction on the A76 trunk road in Scotland has reduced the number of collisions at the blackspot and delivered a 97% first year rate of return against the potential cost of an accident.
Traffic technology developer Clearview Intelligence and trunk road operator Scotland TranServ worked in partnership to install vehicle detection and vehicle activated signs (VAS) at the Crosshands junction on the A76 between Kilmarnock and Mauchline, where the B744 local route crosses the busy high-speed trunk road.
The rural location and lack of mains power presented further challenges in installing an effective safety solution. TranServ consulted with Clearview on how best to solve these issues, and the recommendation was to install a vehicle detection system and VAS to meet two key objectives:
- Inform drivers traveling above the safe speed for this stretch of the A76 to slow down;
- Forewarn motorists driving along the main road that a vehicle was preparing to turn out of the B744 and give them longer to adjust their speed by positioning the sign in advance of the hill brow.
Solar-powered technology was installed along both stretches of the B744 sideroad to detect when traffic is waiting to turn onto the A76. Clearview’s M680 count and classify system detects when vehicles are waiting by using inductive loops and transmits this information to the VAS signs that are positioned in both directions of the A76, in advance of the hill.
The VAS signs, which are also solar-powered, then display a ‘vehicle turning’ alert to forewarn of traffic at the junction below. The same signs also use radar detection to issue ‘slow down’ warnings to vehicles traveling above a safe speed for that stretch of the A76.
Over nearly five years (58 months) between 2012 and 2016, there were seven reported accidents at the junction, which is located at the bottom of a hidden dip. Since the scheme has been implemented there have been just two collisions in 22 months, representing a reduction of 0.4 accidents a year. Since its implementation, accidents at this junction have reduced from an average of 1.4 a year to one.
“Previously, drivers traveling along the A76 would only have sight of the junction, and any traffic turning out of the B744, once they had started to descend the hill. This would provide limited time for them to react to vehicles crossing or turning out of the side road and onto the main carriageway,” explained Chris Keenan, general manager for Scotland at Clearview Intelligence.
“To have achieved a 97% first year rate of return on investment is outstanding and demonstrates the impact this initiative is already having on the safety of motorists using the road.”
Vincent Tait, road safety manager for Scotland TranServ, noted, “Working with Clearview Intelligence we were able to establish an innovative solution to a long-standing accident issue, which on being successful can be used at numerous locations across the Scottish trunk road network.”