Innovative technology to help traffic flow and cut disruption (UK)

By News Editor / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (SCOOT) technology has been hailed a success at reducing traffic delays in London and is set to be rolled out across the UK capital.
More than 40 per cent of traffic signals across London are now using the new SCOOT technology which allows traffic signals to detect vehicles passing along a road and work together to amend their signal timings on a second by second basis to adjust traffic flows accordingly through an area. As a result journey reliability and customer satisfaction on London's roads increased during 2011 with an average 12.7% reduction in delays for vehicles travelling across the network. At some locations, this increases to almost 20%. Pedestrian delays have also been reduced by 1%, with no detrimental impact on pedestrian safety.

Over the last two years, Transport for London (TfL) has begun to increase the number of signals using the system from 2,000 to 3,000. Work has already begun at 861 sites and been fully completed at 514 locations, with the aim of having half of London's traffic signals running with the system by spring 2014.

As well as the rollout of pedestrian countdown technology to around 200 locations across London from summer 2012, TfL is also preparing to carry out a trial of pedestrian detection technology as part of its ongoing work to further develop a better pedestrian element to the SCOOT technology.

TfL will also begin work to see whether SCOOT technology could also be adapted to better detect cyclists and other vulnerable road users on the network to further improve and adapt the system to deliver benefits for London. While still an aspiration at the moment, TfL is hopeful to have developed a prototype for this new and innovative technology by the end of 2013.

Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating officer for Surface Transport at TfL, said: 'By investing in cutting edge technology, as well as ensuring that our network is working in the most efficient way possible, London's traffic is now flowing more freely. This has helped deliver benefits not only for road users across the capital, but is also helping to reduce harmful emissions associated with queuing traffic.'

Source Transport for London
United Kingdom
Traffic and demand management