Swarco delivers traffic control system for Cambridge University construction project


An innovative and bespoke traffic control system from Swarco Traffic Ltd has been installed at the University of Cambridge to control heavy vehicle and plant traffic movements during a major two-year building project.

The building work at the university’s Civil Engineering Department is being undertaken by local construction firm SDC, which was looking for a vehicle control solution that was less expensive and more practical than temporary traffic lights, and the company opted for permanent lights to work as a shuttle system. Crucial to the solution was a reliable method of controlling those lights to manage traffic movements automatically and safely, and have a manual ‘all red’ override when required. The control technology chosen was the Swarco ITC-3. Modular in design, the unit is easily configurable to suit a wide range of traffic management applications and can be directly connected to a similarly diverse range of control and monitoring systems.

Developed to meet UK and International standards, the ITC-3 is available with extra low voltage (ELV) and low voltage (LV) options and can be delivered in two sizes depending on the number of signal phases required. For pedestrian control and small intersections, a version with six phases and up to 16 detectors is available. For most intersections the 3U rack, with up to 24 phases and 40 detectors, is required. Versions with 32 phases and up to 128 detectors can be configured for complex applications or to cover more than one intersection. The ITC-3 features:

Linux operating system, with built-in web interface; Integral touchscreen providing full access to all parameters, with full overview of signal status; Integral UTMC (Urban Traffic Management Control) interfaces and RMU (Remote Management Units); Detectors support speed, occupancy, uni-direction and count logic.

“The works are expected to last for two years, and SDC now has a highly reliable and bespoke system that can deal with every eventuality,” noted Mark Hickmott of Swarco Traffic. “The life costs of this system are substantially lower than temporary traffic signals.”

Oliver Daffern, quantity surveyor for SDC, commented, “Swarco has been a pleasure to work with. Since arriving on site, the service provided by all Swarco operatives has been extremely professional. As well as being extremely pleased with the traffic management system they have installed, we were also pleased with the service provided, and the professional advice given, and I’m sure that SDC will be reusing them for future traffic management needs.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).