Thursday, 15 October 2009

Are there too many traffic lights in Bristol?


But if you want to know more, here's the BEP piece on it.

And here's a follow-up piece in the BEP too. Please note, it is NOT Government policy to make people wait at traffic lights so as to collect more fuel tax - not least because the decisions about regulating traffic flow are made by several people sitting in an office in Bristol city centre.


dreamingspire said...

The new road system round Cabot Circus and out towards TM works very well at the times when I have used it (bus or car, or when leaving by Nat Express coach). The reason is that this is the first scheme in Bristol City where there is a proper area traffic management computer system and appropriate control room. A similar area, but one that doesn't work properly, is the Centre and the roads in and out - the various 1999 vintage 'loose coupled' traffic light controllers in the Centre and at the junctions on nearby roads fight each other and all of them lose the battle - 10 years ago the City could have bought a full area control system, but decided that it would cost too much - the suppliers loved to sell a cheap system, because it would always be needing expensive upgrades which you can only buy from the original supplier.
Portishead is very interesting - good on them for turning the Cabstand lights off - but the bigger question for N Somerset is why the engineers were given the go-head to install something so very wrong.

Bristol Dave said...

I've got to disagree on the road system round Cabot Circus, simply because of the number of traffic lights, which illustrates Kerry's point perfectly. Before Cabot Circus's existence, there was only really one or two sets and it worked OK. Now if you're coming from the centre past Cabot Circus out towards TM you have to drive through a good 5 or 6 sets of traffic lights including pedestrian crossings. How can this be a good thing?

Still, it's better than the Temple Circus Gyratory which frankly is an afront to traffic management. I cannot believe that the traffic engineers got it so wrong on this one - even I can spot the errors here and I'm not even a traffic signals engineer. In case anyone from the council reads this: The major flaws are 1) the fact that the exit for TM Station has a pedestrian crossing IMMEDIATELY after the roundabout - not only is this pointless as there's another one literally yards down the road outside the station, but it holds all the traffic on the roundabout causing large amounts of congestion - the second crossing outside the station is linked with the traffic light timings there so wouldn't be such a problem; 2) the pedestrian crossing the other side of this one, which again is pointless due to the one further up the road, but stops traffic progressing towards the gyratory from the A37, so even when the lights are on green the traffic can't go through because of the pedestrian crossing; 3) The traffic lights halfway along Redcliffe Way which are supposed to give priority to the bus lane (fair enough) but is on a timer rather than a sensor so it regularly puts the bus lane on green and the normal traffic on red, even if there's nothing in the buslane, which is infuriating.

It's so bad you could almost argue they've done it deliberately to "tempt" people out of their cars because it's so terrible to drive through the city. Hmmmmmm....