Transport for Greater Manchester has secured £5.6m of Growth Deal funding for what it says will be the largest smart traffic light network in country outside London.
TfGM will use the fund to install two systems: SCOOT enables groups of traffic signals to work together to reduce congestion, using sensors to pick up traffic data and use this to synchronise traffic lights. This system, TfGM said, has been shown to increase traffic performance by up to 15% compared to fixed-time lights.
It will also invest in MOVA – Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation – which will be used at standalone junctions. If roads are clear the system will make lights change more frequently; while if roads are busy the system will prioritise through flow to boost capacity.
Both systems are due to be rolled out across 70% of Greater Manchester’s signal-controlled junctions.
Peter Boulton, TfGM’s head of highways said: “Everyone knows that traffic levels change throughout the day, but often older style signals remain static – or have to be manually changed. To ensure traffic keeps on flowing we need traffic lights and junctions that constantly adapt and change so that people’s journeys are smoother, shorter and as stress-free as possible.
Cllr Alex Ganotis, GMCA lead for environment, green spaces and air quality added: “Ensuring traffic flows smoothly throughout the day is critical and the introduction of these new systems is a vital part of ensuring that this is the case.
“There is no silver bullet to address congestion overnight, but by taking steps like this we can make real progress. Less congestion means less stress and cleaner air – as well as supporting local businesses and the regional economy.”