Major upgrade for London’s traffic signals

21/07/2014
Highways Reporters

London’s 6,000 traffic signals will be upgraded after Transport for London (TfL) awarded new maintenance contracts worth around £317 million for up to eight years.

The new pan-London contracts will see traffic signals upgraded to latest and greenest technology, helping to keep road users across the capital moving.

The new Traffic Control Management Services contracts will help expand the use of intelligent traffic signals, as well as new crossings for pedestrian and cyclists, delivering benefits to all road users across London.

Dana Skelley, director of asset management at TfL, said: “London is world-leading when it comes to traffic signals management and these new contracts will allow us to continue this well into the future.

“By entering into competitive dialogue with the bidders we have been able to deliver huge savings for London, which can be reinvested back into delivering further improvements for all road users.”

The new contracts will also deliver a substantial saving of around £42m compared to the previous contracts, achieved though competitive dialogue between the bidders and TfL.

This competitive dialogue allowed TfL and suppliers to remove many uncertainties from the contracts before they were signed, helping to ensure they used the most effective, energy efficient and best value equipment.

Doing so will allow London to remain at the cutting edge of traffic control technology.

Financial savings made through this contract will be shared between TfL and the boroughs to help accelerate delivery of further improvements to London's roads.

During the timeframe of the contracts, TfL will carry out a range of works to improve traffic signals across London, including:


  • Rolling out a new 'gold standard' for all new and upgraded pedestrian crossings, which was launched recently as part of the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. This will look to include pedestrian countdown timers to give pedestrians a clear indication of how much time they have to safely cross the road, as well as ensuring that all pedestrian crossing times take account of national safety standards and the level of pedestrian demand. TfL will also expand the use of pedestrian countdown across all 33 London boroughs in the coming years


  • Continuing the roll-out of energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) traffic lights across London to further reduce costs and associated emissions across London. Currently, 13% of London's traffic signals use LEDs and TfL is working to expand this to 100% in the future


  • Accelerating the installation of pedestrian and cycle improvement schemes, such as low level cycle signals, at key junctions across London. The contract will also see the completion of the rollout of audible alerts or tactile rotating cones for visually impaired pedestrians at all pedestrian crossings by 2016


  • Expanding the use of innovative split cycle off-set optimisation technique (SCOOT) technology across London, which can change traffic signal timings based on traffic levels second by second, from half of all signals to three quarters of all signals by the end of 2018. On average, installing SCOOT at a junction reduces traffic disruption by between eight and 12%.

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