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Spotlight shines on LED road stud scheme

A route safety scheme which uses SolarLite Active LED Road Studs to “revolutionise” safety on a major trunk road through Scotland has been shortlisted for a national transport industry award.

Clearview Intelligence, in partnership with Transport Scotland, Amey and Edinburgh Napier University, has been named as a finalist in the ‘Road Safety, Traffic Management and Enforcement’ category at the National Transport Awards.

It follows the installation of 4,100 SolarLite Active Road Studs along 14 miles of Scotland’s A1 between Dunbar and Berwick following concerns about the unlit road.

The scheme emphasises the delineation of the road layout and junctions, providing up to 900 metres of visibility from high intensity LEDs – a distance ten times greater than that offered by conventional reflective road studs.

Andy Salotti, Director of Solutions at Clearview Intelligence said: “On average, our SolarLite studs have been proven to decrease night-time accidents by up to 72 per cent and offer superior visibility all year round, even in poor conditions and on wet roads.

“Unlike conventional studs, which sit high above the road surface, our studs have a low profile of less than 4mm above the surface which means they are less likely to be subject to damage and can achieve their projected lifespan of up to ten years. All of this means less maintenance and lower lifetime costs for the customer compared with conventional reflective studs.”

The A1 project was commissioned by Transport Scotland, in partnership with Amey, following concerns which were raised about the unlit road by the A1 Action Group. A key issue was in relation to entering or exiting the A1 during hours of darkness. A lack of visibility, poor junction definition, and inconsistency in signage and road markings were highlighted as significant problems.

Clearview Intelligence was subsequently appointed to design the new delineation scheme using SolarLite Active Road Studs to ensure that all major junctions were clearly lit and treated consistently.

Conventional retro-reflective road studs, which rely on the effectiveness of the vehicle’s headlight, will typically provide motorists travelling at 62mph with 90 metres of visible delineation. This provides approximately 3.2 seconds to react to changes in the road ahead. However, the SolarLite studs, which give drivers travelling at the same speed 900 metres of visibility, will have more than 30 seconds to react.

The studs are totally sustainable and harness free solar energy – a feature which is particularly topical now. They use superior solar energy harvesting and storage electronics which are designed to maintain light outputs throughout a full annual cycle and because of the visibility generated from the LEDs, they are particularly effective in areas where there is no streetlighting – such as the A1.

The SolarLite installation scheme has improved safety through raising awareness of upcoming junctions and enhanced driver experience via increased visibility of the road layout ahead. The enhanced visibility reduces erratic driving behaviour and makes drivers feel more confident driving at night.

Cllr Norman Hampshire, Chairman of the A1 Action Group and Cabinet Member for East Lothian Council, said: “The installation of the studs has, in my view, revolutionised the driving experience on the A1 after dark. The studs have improved night-time visibility beyond all recognition along certain parts of the route.”

Edinburgh Napier University are in the process of conducting independent research with local stakeholders around this section of the A1 to evaluate the effectiveness of the studs. Preliminary results from the online survey returns show that 93 percent of respondents feel that clarity of the junctions has improved, 95 percent feel that clarity of curved sections of the route have improved, and 78 percent feel more confident driving this section of the A1 during hours of darkness than they did previously.

The full results of Edinburgh Napier University’s survey are due to be published by the end of the year on the Clearview Intelligence website at www.clearview-intelligence.com

The National Transport Awards, which are now in their 18th year, will be held at London’s Westminster Park Plaza on 11 October.

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