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The right solution for a wrong turn

Drivers mistakenly travelling in the wrong direction towards traffic exiting motorways and dual carriageways will be alerted using a pioneering new warning system in Scotland.

Road operator Amey commissioned Clearview Intelligence to install the country’s first wrong way slip detection on slip roads in Philpstoun, Wallyford, Tranent and Lasswade.

It follows reports of numerous vehicles turning onto the slip lanes and into the path of motorists exiting the motorways and dual carriageways at high speed.

Chris Keenan, Clearview’s General Manager, Scotland, said: “This is the first time such a solution has been implemented in Scotland and we are proud to be the team to deliver it. By travelling the wrong way on these slip lanes drivers risk a head-on collision with motorists exiting the junction or driving into the path of three lanes of oncoming traffic if they reach the motorway carriageway.

“Our latest system detects vehicles incorrectly turning onto the slip road and uses Vehicle Activated Signs to flash a ‘no entry’ warning sign to motorists, instantly alerting them of their error. Since installing the system, we have recorded incidents of drivers travelling the wrong way at each of these sites, but fortunately turning around in time to avoid colliding with traffic coming at high speeds in the opposite direction.”

At all locations there were static ‘no entry’ signs and white lining to indicate one-way traffic flows.

Using inductive loops installed in the carriageway and Clearview’s M680 count and classify system, the solution registers the direction of vehicles travelling along the slip lanes. When it detects a vehicle travelling the wrong way, it triggers solar powered Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) which flash a no entry symbol ahead of the drivers, prompting them to turn around.

The system was installed at the M9 junction 2 slip road for Philpstoun which reported problems with motorists turning right from the B8046 onto the motorway’s exit slip. At the same time, it was introduced to the A1 in Wallyford where drivers had been turning right from the A6094, despite the junction being subject to traffic signals and a ‘no right turn’ sign.

Following successful installation, the solution was then installed further along the A1, at the A198 roundabout in Tranent. It was also introduced at the City of Edinburgh Bypass in Lasswade, where drivers were travelling the wrong way down the slip road at Lasswade Road onto the A720. At both Tranent and Lasswade, the system included the provision of cameras and an auto alert system from Clearview’s Insight software platform to notify the Traffic Scotland control centre of a potential hazard.

Tom Wallace, Amey’s Account Manager of the Scottish South East Trunk Road Unit, said: “When vehicles enter the trunk road network in the wrong direction it can lead to serious road traffic incidents, and has already caused fatal collisions. Standard signing and preventive measures do work in most locations, but we recognise that there are areas on the network that will benefit from enhanced solutions.

“We are delighted to have worked with Clearview to introduce new technology, and to have implemented these enhanced safety measures in certain locations on the South East trunk road network. Our priority will always be to ensure the safety of the travelling public, and to implement effective and innovative solutions that offer enhanced protection for road users. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Clearview to provide further innovative safety improvements in the future.”

Author: Jemma C |Date Published: September 2019

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