Two innovative road safety projects that use vehicle-activated signs (VAS) to warn drivers of approaching hazards have contributed to two out of three finalist schemes that are competing for the Scottish Transport Awards (STA).
Now in their 17th year, the awards will take place on June 13 in Glasgow. Milton Keynes-based traffic technology developer Clearview Intelligence has delivered systems on behalf of two of the three finalists in the STA’s ‘Most Effective in Road Safety, Traffic Management and Solutions’ category, with real-time vehicle detection forming the basis for both submissions. Clearview has been shortlisted in partnership with Scotland TranServ, Transport Scotland and Coeval for its work to reduce accidents along the A75 trunk road, whilst Amey’s submission for road safety improvements at the A6091 Borders General Hospital also features VAS systems provided by the company.
The A75 running from Gretna Green to Stranraer is the main route through Scotland to the ferry port servicing Northern Ireland and is used by 1.5 million vehicles a year. It is subject to different speed limits affecting different vehicle classifications: cars at 60mph (96km/h); heavy vans at 50mph (80km/h); and trucks at 40mph (64km/h). In a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to tackle speeding whilst recognizing Scotland’s differing speed limits, Clearview installed solar-powered vehicle detection count and classify units. The system records a combination of vehicle classification with identification of vehicles travelling above the speed limit and uses VAS to remind drivers of the correct limit for their vehicle class.
On the A6091, the junction between Borders General Hospital and the Melrose Bypass is used by 11,400 road users daily and had been an accident hotspot for a decade. To tackle concerns, the speed limit was reduced to 50mph and new traffic signals were installed so that for the first time, traffic could turn right when leaving the hospital. The signals included a ‘hurry call’ button so that departing ambulances could prioritize a green light sequence in their favor to safely exit the hospital without negotiating red lights or queuing traffic. When the emergency priority system is triggered, VAS on the A6091 warns vehicles that an ambulance is on a response call. The same VAS is also used to warn drivers when they are travelling too fast along the A6091.
“Route safety is at the heart of what we do, so to have our solutions recognized at one of Scotland’s most prestigious industry awards gives us the confirmation that what we are doing is not only leading the way, but working for road users,” commented Chris Keenan, Clearview’s general manager for Scotland. “We understand that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution to road safety; on both the A75 and A6091 we identified problems and challenges specific to that route and tailored solutions by working collaboratively with our partners. Both projects use vehicle detection as the basis for their solution, but have been implemented it in two different ways, specific to the needs and challenges facing road users.”