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Traffic lights and signals

Faulty traffic signals

All of our signal crossings are dealt with by a contractor and is partnership with neighbouring authorities.

You can report signals that are faulty by calling our freephone 24-hour fault-reporting service on 0800 854229.

Please do not report faults by email as they will not get dealt with as promptly as those reported by phone.

Please help us identify the exact location by giving information such as road names, nearby junctions or notable buildings and which aspect of the signal function is need of attention.

Requesting a pedestrian crossing facility

If you think there is a strong case for a pedestrian crossing in your street, you should contact your parish council or local councillor. Each area committee in South Gloucestershire has funding for local traffic schemes. Every year, a list of potential traffic management schemes is drawn up for each area. Once a year, local councillors decide which schemes to carry out.

More about traffic signals

Traffic signals play a vital safety role at junctions by ensuring proper control of conflicting traffic movements including pedestrians and cyclists. They also assist in reducing traffic congestion and overall delay on the highway network. The council is committed to using optimum technology to improve the efficiency of traffic signal operations.

Traffic signal installations will be provided where it is appropriate and can demonstrate they can:

  • minimise congestion and delays,
  • manage traffic flow
  • manage pedestrians or cyclists crossing roads
  • be introduced where a need is identified by an accident reduction study.

Traffic signals will be set to balance the needs of, and minimise delays to all road users including pedestrians and cyclists. Where appropriate, they will be set to favour routes on the primary road network over roads of a lower classification in the roads hierarchy.

Where appropriate signals in urban commuter routes shall be biased towards minimising delays suffered by inbound traffic in the morning peak; minimising delays suffered by outbound traffic in the evening peak and minimising delays suffered by pedestrians during all off peak times.

It is the council’s objective that signals are to operate using the latest reactive form of control MOVA (Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation), unless part of a co-ordinated control system.

All traffic signals are remote monitored to remotely report faults in operation

Where a significant pedestrian demand exists at a junction, pedestrian facilities shall be incorporated within a signalled junction layout or at a remote but linked, signalled pedestrian crossing. Facilities and their operation will be designed so as to provide the best balance between pedestrian and traffic demand, commensurate with the demands of road safety.

Energy consumption in all new traffic signal installations will be minimised by the use of Extra Low Voltage (ELV) equipment and as sites are replaced as part of cyclic maintenance these will, where possible, be converted to ELV operation

Pedestrian crossings

The selection of crossing type will depend on traffic flow, speed, pedestrian demand and cycle routes. Wherever possible, a presumption will be made in favour of zebra crossings on roads below main distributor in the hierarchy and on signal controlled crossings on strategic routes and main distributor road. Zebra crossings give pedestrians priority over vehicles but require pedestrian to step safely onto the crossing to initiate this. The absence of signal controls makes the crossing unsuitable for locations with fast moving or heavy traffic, or where a constant flow of pedestrians is likely to cause excessive congestion. Zebra crossings are most suited to sites with low traffic speed and volume and are not recommended on roads with greater than 30 mph speed limits in such instance

Traffic Signal controlled pedestrian/cycle crossings can be located at junctions, or other locations where need has been identified to provide safer crossing points. Such pedestrian facilities can be Pelican, Puffin, Toucan or Pegasus type crossings.

  • PELICAN (pedestrian light controlled) crossings provide controlled crossings for pedestrians only and offer the pedestrian a fixed amount of time to cross the road
  • PUFFIN (pedestrian user friendly intelligent) crossings are for pedestrians only and these crossings use pedestrian detection equipment to improve the safety and efficiency of their operation
  • TOUCAN crossings generally provide similar facilities to Puffin crossings, but also include provision for cyclists (hence the name as ‘two can’ cross at the same time)
  • Pegasus crossings allow horses to cross and have special arrangements for the horses to wait

TOUCAN and PUFFIN crossings use sensors to modify crossing times to take account of pedestrian flows and also cancel pedestrian phases if sensors detect that pedestrians are no longer waiting to cross. PUFFIN crossings are intended to become the UK standard for signal controlled pedestrian facilities at stand-alone crossings and junctions. Unlike PELICAN, there is no flashing amber period; instead the length of the red to vehicles is variable depending on the time that pedestrians take to cross the road. Some systems accurately model the on-street behaviour of Puffin crossings and Puffin pedestrian facilities and thus provide improved control

As part of ongoing maintenance works the council will review the operation of traffic signals to assess how pedestrian priorities can be improved, All crossing facilities at traffic signals are provided with tactile surfacing and tactile rotating cones linked to green man indicators to meet the needs of people with specific needs.

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