Siemens starts UK's Plus+ traffic signal revolution

Dominic Browne

Coventry City Council has become the first in the UK to install the long-awaited Plus+ traffic signal system from Siemens Mobility.

The 'revolutionary' system uses distributed intelligence 'with simple power and data cabling to reduce overall installation and maintenance costs and increase intersection availability', Siemens said.

Plus+ was designed with dedicated failsafe signal heads and pedestrian indicators, as well as new smart loop modules to make sure that the overall system is tolerant of individual component and cable damage.

The aim is to ensure higher intersection availability and reduced disruption to road users, as well as drastically reducing the raw materials, cabling and people-resource required and minimising installation time.

Following the successful completion of a series of pilot projects and trial sites, Siemens was awarded a contract to install its Plus+ traffic signal control system at a busy intersection on the B4106/Allesley Old Road, one of the main routes into Coventry.

The scheme was commissioned into service at the end of June, with Siemens Mobility having delivered the work as a complete turnkey package, including design, civils and temporary traffic management.

Ben Gray, highway network manager, Coventry City Council, said: 'Coventry has long been at the forefront of traffic and automotive technology and we always try to incorporate innovative solutions into our work. We are therefore excited to be the first UK authority to install Plus+, which will shape and change the way we work and install future schemes.

'With Plus+ being much quicker and easier to install, there is less risk and cost to the authority, enabling us to provide a better service to people who visit, live and work in our city.'

Following the commissioning, Wilke Reints, managing director Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) for Siemens Mobility Limited, said: 'Having successfully completed a number of trial projects, we are now ramping up production and delivering our first Plus+ orders.

'After a significant development effort, the installation in Coventry marks a major milestone for this ground-breaking traffic signal technology and I am delighted to see this intelligent infrastructure solution in full operation, delivering benefits to traffic managers, civil construction companies and of course road users.'

Siemens would not disclose the value of the B4106/Allesley Old Road installation, but on the back of the deal, Mr Reints revealed the company had been awarded a £1.45m contract for work on an additional 24 sites in Coventry, which will include further Plus+ installations.

The work forms part of Transport for West Midland's Key Route Network programme, and Siemens will deliver it as a complete turnkey solution, including traffic management and civils work.

The installation in Coventry's Allesley Old Road is a complete refurbishment of a MOVA controlled intersection and includes new Plus+ pedestrian facilities, Siemens said.

The system will be monitored by Coventry City Council's urban traffic control and Stratos traffic management systems.

System configuration work for the project was carried out off-site in factory-controlled conditions, further reducing the amount of site time required for the installation.

The Plus+ system also includes enhanced 'self-checking' and diagnostics which provides additional protection against false signals being shown on-street due to error or deliberate acts, Siemens said.

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