A tailor-made traffic solution from ITS (UK) member SWARCO Traffic Ltd, the traffic technology specialist, is helping to keep cyclists protected on busy country lanes in Bedfordshire.
Central Bedfordshire Council was looking to improve protection for cyclists and encourage safer cycling on its rural roads where there is often limited visibility. It turned to Jacobs Engineering and SWARCO to provide the solution.
Paul Wright, Technical Estimator at SWARCO responsible for designing the solution, says: “Jacobs asked us to design a scheme that would detect a cyclist in the lanes and alert motorists to their presence. The lanes leave both cyclists and motorists blind to one another, with high hedges that make it difficult to see the road ahead.”
The SWARCO engineered solution uses bespoke Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) at each end of a defined detection zone, with each zone being around 750m in length. When a cyclist passes into the zone, a signal is sent from an AGD 318 traffic control radar to the VAS at either end of the zone from either direction. The signs illuminate to warn approaching drivers travelling above a pre-set speed threshold that a cyclist is in the area, as well as displaying a warning message advising drivers to reduce their speed.
The solution, which is fully solar powered, enables real time information updates and status reports to be accessed including information on power, communication and fault detection to ensure the safety critical signs remain at optimum capacity.
“This project involved creating a bespoke solution tailored to the needs of Central Bedfordshire Council,” Paul continues. “Using our suite of best-in-class products and traffic technologies, we have created a reliable solution that will help improve driver awareness of vulnerable road users and increase safety for cyclists.”