Study finds UK citizens want ‘smart’ measures to protect vulnerable road users


According to research commissioned by vehicle barrier company ATG Access there is a growing demand for technology to be used to protect vulnerable road users in the UK, with more than half of respondents believing that smart city measures should be put in place to make cyclists and pedestrians safer.

ATG’s report explores the urbanization problems in the UK that could be addressed through the implementation of smart city technology, including the growing risks to vulnerable road users as cities become increasingly congested. The study found that 56% of people call for smart city measures to make the roads safer for cyclists, while 66% want pedestrian safety and security to be improved by smart city measures being implemented in their local area. In particular, 40% of consumers would like dedicated bus and cycle lanes in busy periods, which could be enabled by smart barriers that extend and retract according to traffic density, helping to reduce accidents and congestion.

Strategically-placed smart road sensors proved even more popular, with nearly half (47%) of respondents expressing a desire for these to be deployed. These sensors can monitor congestion and detect accidents and other hazards, such as ice forming on the roads, in real-time, helping to protect both drivers and vulnerable road users. Responsive smart barriers and adaptive traffic light control systems could also help to minimize the risk to road users in the event of a security incident, by managing the flow of cars, cyclists and pedestrians throughout the event, allowing better access for emergency services.

“While cyclist and pedestrian safety is undoubtedly a key concern for planning and transport departments, the most recent government data shows that 18,477 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in 2016, including 3,499 who were killed or seriously injured,” noted Gavin Hepburn, managing director at ATG Access. “This clearly shows that we are currently struggling to find effective ways of making the roads safe for cyclists, and must start exploring new, more sophisticated methods of improving our transport infrastructure. This will only become more important as our cities are expected to become increasingly congested in the coming years. The strategic implementation of smart city measures could help to greatly increase the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, while also making it more appealing for greater numbers of people to walk or cycle, which will be crucial if we are to achieve a more sustainable future.”

In its role as a leading manufacturer of bollards and vehicle barrier systems, ATG Access has just completed a major citizen safety project in the capital of Qatar. Over 2,000 of the company’s products were installed throughout the five-phase project in Doha, where urban areas have been protected with physical security measures to prevent unwanted and hostile vehicles from entering pedestrian zones. Deployed in multiple locations, bolt-down static bollards, removable, shallow-mount and automatic bollards, road blockers and manual impact-tested gates, were installed near major roads, pedestrian and tram crossings, and parking facilities, to protect vulnerable road users.

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.