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How to deliver effective route safety solutions to complex road safety challenges

If you are responsible for reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on your road network you likely already know where the issues lie. Similarly, if you’re committed to keeping traffic flowing, you understand the drastic effect that even a minor accident can have on your network. In both instances what is up for consideration is how best to stop these accidents happening.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all approach to road safety. Instead, you need to consider the accident history, the volume of traffic, the surrounding roads, topography and how drivers are negotiating the section of road in question. Once the issues and constraints have been identified, there are multiple solutions to be considered. This is the most challenging part of developing any road safety solution—how do you keep up with the latest technology, integrate technology from different providers, and evaluate the effectiveness of a scheme?

This is where we believe an experienced solution designer, either an independent consultant or experts working for a technology provider, can help.

Clearview regularly integrate technology from multiple providers with our own to produce the most effective solution to a complex issue. A recent example of this is a route safety solution installed at the A6091 Borders General Hospital junction.

This junction had been an accident hotspot for the past decade. In the five years from 2011 to 2016 there were six injury accidents and several less serious accidents at the junction. With upward of 11,000 road users travelling the route each day it is the busiest junction in the Boarders.

An innovative road safety solution was needed at this dangerous junction.

Considering the constraints of this junction revealed challenges with both the location and topography. The junction is close to a village, the Borders General Hospital and a separate ambulance station. The location of the junction and proximity of existing infrastructure meant that it was not possible to change the junction to a roundabout. It was also important to keep the junction open while the work was undertaken to allow access to the hospital.

After weighing up these constraints and feedback from road users, a solution was developed that integrates traffic lights with a hurry call system to allow ambulances to navigate the junction as quickly as possible. This includes warning signs that alert road users to the approaching ambulances. The existing traffic islands were also reshaped. To overcome the issue of the traffic signals holding up an ambulance, both the ambulance station and the hospital have a button they can use to prioritise the path of ambulances through the junction and trigger the warning signs.

The speed limit on this section of the A6091 has also been lowered to 50mph and the same warning signs are programmed to display a ‘slow down’ message to drivers exceeding a set threshold.

Solution providers and engineers collaborated to deliver a bespoke solution.

Clearview Intelligence delivered the wireless vehicle detection system that the traffic signals rely on. This was integrated with the signals, hurry call system and warning signs. We worked closely with Amey to deliver this system and integrate the technology from multiple providers.

In reference to this scheme Jim Reid, the Strategic Road Safety Manager for Amey commented: Amey and Clearview Intelligence have a close working relationship built on our shared commitment to improving road safety. The A6091 Borders General Hospital Junction Improvement scheme was no different. To enable us to meet a timescale set by the client, Transport Scotland, effective collaboration was required delivering an innovative solution to a dangerous junction.

This close collaboration resulted in us producing a scheme which, not only improves road safety, but reduces driver confusion and therefore danger. Furthermore, it was completed whilst the junction was open, keeping disruption to Emergency Services to a minimum during the construction works.

This is just one example of how effective solutions to road safety challenges are delivered by providers across the industry working together to achieve a shared goal: improving outcomes for road users.

If you need help designing a bespoke solution to your road safety problem, get in touch, our specialists are on hand to help you identify the right solution to your issue.

Author: Michelle C |Date Published: May 2018

Links: Road Safety

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