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‘First of its kind’ speed awareness solution installed across six locations on the A75

The A75 Gretna Green to Stranraer road is the main route through Scotland to the ferry port servicing Northern Ireland. Consequently, traffic volumes tend to increase when a ferry is scheduled to arrive or depart.

With over 1.5m vehicles, including over 200,000 HGVs, using the road each year Transport Scotland commissioned Clearview Intelligence to conduct speed surveys at twelve locations between Gretna and Stranraer. The surveys highlighted a recurring problem with the 85th percentile speed being unacceptably high, most notably with HGVs.

Working with the road operator, Scotland TranServ, Clearview developed a ‘first of its kind’ solution to encourage speed compliance and change driver behaviour. The solution recognises the road has differing speed limits per vehicle classification (for example: cars at 60mph; heavy vans at 50mph; and HGVs at 40mph) and so is designed to identify instances of speeding per vehicle type and provide an alert to the driver.

Six locations were selected for maximum impact. However, problems with speeding vehicles are not confined to built-up areas, so the solution needed to be solar powered to cater for rural locations where it is impractical or impossible to connect to a mains supply.

Clearview installed solar powered vehicle detection count and classify units to record a combination of vehicle classification with identification of vehicles travelling above the speed limit. Each of the six sites features two vehicle activated signs (VAS) facing each direction of travel. The vehicle detection units communicate with the VAS to trigger a display showing the appropriate speed limit warning according to vehicle type.

This kind of vehicle activated, dynamic speed warning system serves as a highly visible and immediate reminder to drivers to monitor and manage their speeds appropriate to the legal limit of their vehicle’s classification, ensuring safe passage not only for drivers, but also for residents and other road users of the towns and villages along the A75.

After the completion of the installations Vincent Tait, Road Safety Manager for Scotland TranServ, commented: “Clearview Intelligence and Scotland TranServ have a strong track record of partnership working to improve road safety, so when we were looking to tackle the issue of encouraging speed compliance on the A75, we were confident that Clearview could help us to deliver an effective and robust solution. The final design is replicable and can be deployed in a variety of locations, even in the absence of mains power in remote areas. Changing driver behaviour by making speed limits clearer for different vehicle types is a less punitive approach than traditional measures, and will encourage drivers to adjust their speed accordingly to ensure the safety of other road users and local communities along the route”.

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