The Transport Technology Forum (TTF) calls for more reliable, cost-effective upgrades to be installed as it is found that repairing England’s traffic lights could cost up to £80m.
These findings are drawn from a major survey conducted by the Department for Transport (DfT) which asked 55% of England’s highway authorities about the condition of their traffic light signals.
Roughly half of those questioned reported a maintenance backlog of more than £1m. This means, across England’s 150 authorities, costs are likely to total in excess of £80m.
In addition to maintenance expenses, repairing faulty signals takes up a significant amount of the annual budget; 40% of local authorities reported an average spend of £100,000 per year.
Acknowledging these statistics, TTF has called for traffic signalling to be upgraded nationwide. Installing newer, more reliable equipment will likely be more cost-effective than tackling mounting maintenance and repair costs.
The survey found that around one-third of authorities have no, or very few, of the latest SCOOT or MOVA adaptively controlled signals. Additionally, 80% of highways authorities are yet to install wireless or mobile communications advances.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC and TTF chairman, said: “there is real potential to make an immediate difference to traffic and the safety of active travel by upgrading signalling.”
“The more we look into the real-world state of our traffic signals the more potential we are finding for relatively inexpensive but important improvements – including repairs, refurbishment or simply retuning systems – to deliver benefits for traffic flow generally and for promoting active travel.”