Help Forum

Help requested posted on 22nd November 2010:

Traffic lights at rural crossroads

Does anyone have experience of using traffic lights at rural crossroads? We have a site where the main road, although reduced from the national speed limit to 40mph, and despite speed enforcement, vehicle activated signs and high visibility signing and lining still has a significant number of vehicles being driven at high speed through the crossroads. There have been a number of serious incidents over the years including fatalities, involving vehicles pulling out of the side roads into the path of a vehicle being driven at high speed. The main road at the crossroads is on a long straight stretch of road with both the side roads also straight and more or less in line with each other.

The traffic lights are one potential solution and we would be interested to hear if anyone has had a postive or negative experience with using traffic lights in this type of situation.

Richard Hall
North Lincolnshire Council

Reply to this request


Response posted on 22nd November 2010 by:
Jim Buckley
Leeds City Council
E: james.buckley@leeds.gov.uk
T: 01132476327

Traffic Lights at Rural Crossroads

Richard,

We have experience of a similar situation to the north of Leeds.
The junction is the A658 Harrogate Road/Otley Old Road/East Chevin Road, to the NE of Leeds-Bradford Airport.
Carlton Crossroads had been a problem site for many years, despite having benefited from the usual improvements including duplicate Give way signs on splitter islands and upgraded signing. Most of the accidents were restarts by drivers who had misjudged approach speeds.
There were 39 PIA's in the 6 years prior to signalisation, 5 being serious.
Whilst I would normally have been happier to install a roundabout in such circumstances, there were problems getting the necessary land and signals were installed in 2003.
In the 6 subsequent years we have had 9 PIA's with only one serious.
Unfortunately, in 2010 we have had a fatal involving a cyclist and a left turning skip wagon, but that is untypical and generally I am very happy with the scheme.

Get in touch if you want more details of the location or scheme.


Response posted on 22nd November 2010 by:
Rob Farnham
Middlesbrough Council
E: rob_farnham@middlesbrough.gov.uk
T: (01642) 728188

Traffic Lights at Rural Crossroads

Richard,

No recent experience (very few rural areas in Middlesbrough!), but I was involved in the introduction of traffic lights at a rural crossroads in Langbaurgh (now Redcar and Cleveland) around 15 years ago. All four of the approaches to the junction were subject to the national (60 mph) speed limit, and forward visibility on three of them was poor - needless to say, the accident record was pretty poor as well.

Because of the poor forward visibility, one of the key requirements was to ensure that the presence of the traffic lights was signed as far in advance of the junction as possible. In addition, speed discrimination was built into the signal control to allow fast-moving vehicles, approaching on green, to pass through the junction before the lights changed to red.

I'm pleased to say that the scheme was successful, and that the accident rate dropped significantly following the introduction of signal control. Unfortunately it was so long ago that I've long since discarded the relevant data!

Hope this is helpful,

Rob


Response posted on 22nd November 2010 by:
Andrew Fraser
Falkirk Council
E: andrew.fraser@falkirk.gov.uk
T: 01786 465584

Rural crossroads

My colleagues and I in the Forth Valley area (Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling Unitary Councils) are a little surprised to hear that automatic traffic signals are even being considered as a "potential solution" for this situation.

This seems to be what we would term a fatal accident blacksite. At all such similar sites (which tended to be in the more rural Stirling area) we have recommended a rural roundabout. Around six have been necessary and the results ahve been (quite predictably) very good, indeed. One more is required but, unfortunately, it involves a junction with a trunk road. For reasons as yet to be satisfactorily explained, the relevant authority has not followed Stirling Council's example. Further fatalities, therefore, seem inevitable.

Unfortunately, I cannot attach details of the treated sites, but I will send a relevant spreadsheet directly to Richard Hall.

I hope it will help - I fear that ATS will not (other than making it easier to assign blame to driver rather than designer).


Response posted on 22nd November 2010 by:
Nigel Horsley
Leicestershire County Council
E: nigel.horsley@leics.gov.uk
T: 0116 305 7227

Traffic Lights at Rural Crossroads

Richard, I have spoken to Steve Harrison re this and will send you a copy of Leicestershire CC 2009 Casualty Report. On pages 29-32 is a report on a rural traffic light junction and the returns in terms of casualty reduction. The junction is on the A47 (national speed limit) where it is crossed by the B582 (40mph). Hope this helps.


Response posted on 22nd November 2010 by:
Rob Farnham
Middlesbrough Council
E: rob_farnham@middlesbrough.gov.uk
T: (01642) 728188

Traffic Lights at Rural Crossroads

Richard,

No recent experience (very few rural areas in Middlesbrough!), but I was involved in the introduction of traffic lights at a rural crossroads in Langbaurgh (now Redcar and Cleveland) around 15 years ago. All four of the approaches to the junction were subject to the national (60 mph) speed limit, and forward visibility on three of them was poor - needless to say, the accident record was pretty poor as well.

Because of the poor forward visibility, one of the key requirements was to ensure that the presence of the traffic lights was signed as far in advance of the junction as possible. In addition, speed discrimination was built into the signal control to allow fast-moving vehicles, approaching on green, to pass through the junction before the lights changed to red.

I'm pleased to say that the scheme was successful, and that the accident rate dropped significantly following the introduction of signal control. Unfortunately it was so long ago that I've long since discarded the relevant data!

Hope this is helpful,

Rob


Response posted on 23rd November 2010 by:
Stuart Geddes
Stirling Council
E: geddess@stirling.gov.uk
T: 01786 442442

Traffic Lights at Rural Crossroads

Richard,

I am one of Andrew's (Fraser) Forth Valley colleagues and agree completely with his views. Rural roundabouts have been used with great success to treat fatal accident sites in this area, particularly at crossroads. I will send an updated version of the spreadsheet, including data upto the end of 2009, for information.


Response posted on 8th December 2010 by:
Alison Dearden
Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership
E: alison.dearden@gloucestershire.gov.uk
T: 01452 425615

Traffic Lights at Rural Crossroads

Calcot Crossroads is the junction of the A46 Stroud to Bath and the A4135 Durlsey to Tetbury road, speed limit 60mph. There have been no reported injury accidents in since 2008. Previously there were two or three a year mainly involving vehicles turning right on a green light thinking they had right of way, across the path of a vehicle going straight on. The ideal would be to have a right turn filter on the lights, but as an interim measure warning signs were installed and this seems to have reduced the number of accidents recently.


Post a response to the above help request by completing the form below:

Your name
Your email
Your telephone (optional)
Subject
My response is:
Captcha: