A route safety scheme that uses solar-powered LED road studs to help delineate and highlight intersections on a major trunk road through Scotland has been shortlisted for one of the UK’s top national transport industry awards.
Clearview Intelligence, in partnership with Transport Scotland (TS), Amey and Edinburgh Napier University, has been named as a finalist in the ‘Road Safety, Traffic Management and Enforcement’ category at the 18th National Transport Awards, which are supported by the Department for Transport (DfT) and will be held in London on October 11.
The project along 14 miles (22.5km) of the A1 route between Dunbar and Berwick was commissioned by TS, in partnership with Amey, following concerns that were raised about the unlit road by the A1 Action Group. A key issue was in relation to entering or exiting the A1 during hours of darkness, with a lack of visibility, poor junction definition and inconsistency in signage and road markings highlighted as significant problems.
Clearview Intelligence was subsequently appointed to design the new delineation scheme using its SolarLite Active LED Road Studs to ensure that all major junctions were clearly lit and treated consistently. The installation of 4,100 studs helps emphasize the delineation of the road layout and junctions, providing up to 2,953ft (900m) of visibility from their high-intensity LEDs; a distance 10 times greater than that offered by conventional reflective road studs or cat’s eyes.
The studs are totally sustainable and use highly-efficient solar energy harvesting and storage electronics that are designed to maintain light outputs throughout the year, under all conditions. Due to the increased visibility generated from the LEDs, they are particularly effective in areas where there is no streetlighting, such as the rural A1 route.
The SolarLite installation scheme has improved safety through raising awareness of upcoming junctions, and enhanced driver experience via increased visibility of the road layout ahead. Edinburgh Napier University is in the process of conducting independent research with local stakeholders around this section of the A1 to evaluate the effectiveness of the studs.
Preliminary results from the online survey returns show that: 93% of respondents feel that clarity of the junctions has improved; 95% feel that clarity of curved sections of the route have improved; and 78% feel more confident driving this section of the A1 during hours of darkness than they did previously. The full results of the university’s survey are due to be published by the end of the year.
“The installation of the studs has, in my view, revolutionized the driving experience on the A1 after dark,” commented Norman Hampshire, chairman of the A1 Action Group and cabinet member for East Lothian Council. “The studs have improved night-time visibility beyond all recognition along certain parts of the route.”
Andy Salotti, director of solutions at Clearview, said, “On average, our SolarLite studs have been proven to decrease night-time accidents by up to 72% and offer superior visibility all year round, even in poor conditions and on wet roads.”