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The 25th JCT Traffic Signal Symposium Webinar

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Tuesday 22nd September and Wednesday 23rd September, 2020

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Due to Government restrictions on mass gatherings as a result of COVID-19 the Symposium was unable to run in its usual physical format in Nottingham in 2020.

Instead the JCT Traffic Signals Symposium 2020 was delivered as a Free to Attend Webinar. The Webinar took place over two days and consisted of both live and pre-recorded presentations from a host of Traffic Signal experts. A list of presentations and papers can be seen below, and a selection of papers can be downloaded. JCT also facilitated the MOVA User Group as a Free to Attend Webinar. It would not have been possible to bring these events to our audience for free without the generous support of our event partners. A select group of Partners consisting of Highways News, The IHE, ITS(UK), Keep a Distance.co.uk, Siemens Mobility, and TWM also supported the production of presentation recordings allowing the Symposium to be viewed by a wider audience. A selection of papers can be downloaded below and there are links to the recorded presentations.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy the material and hope to see you in Nottingham on the 15th and 16th September 2021 for our 25th Anniversary Symposium and Exhibition.


Highway News are the JCT Traffic Signals Symposium Official Media Partner. Highways News will continue to provide important insights into the Symposium content and ways to access future events both live and on demand. We would therefore like to share your contact details with Highways News so that they can update you on developments directly. If you are happy for us do this can you please either sign up for Highways News (by following the link below) or opt-in to these targeted emails from Highways News by sending JCT an email at symposium@jctconsultancy.co.uk requesting to receive symposium updates from ourselves and Highways News.

Highways News is a new website covering highways and transport technology news for the UK. Run by longstanding industry journalists Paul Hutton and Adrian Tatum, Highways News finds all the stories you need to know about in the industry, to save you the bother of finding them yourself. Every lunchtime Highways News sends an overview of the industry stories that matter.

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Symposium Papers

Watch all Symposium 2020 presentations here

Transforming Cities Fund ​Nottingham – Derby. ​Providing Centralised Traffic Signal Bus Priority
Chris Gough – VIAEM

The Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) aims to improve productivity and spread prosperity through investment in public and sustainable transport in some of the largest English city regions and was first announced in November 2017.

Derby and Nottingham submitted a combined bid and were successful in receiving funding in the first tranche of TCF funding with a value of £8.4m which included a £5.045m Public Transport Technology Package.

This paper explains the development and implementation of one keystone of the public and sustainable transport infrastructure in Derby & Nottingham – Central Bus Traffic Signal Priority.

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Bus Priority in London – Getting more out of what we have
Michael Bloomfield, David Oram - TfL

Buses transport more people than any other public transport mode in London. Buses form key links to town centres and other destinations across the city and are one of the most efficient uses of road space, playing an important role in delivering the Heathy Streets Approach outlined in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. There are approximately 1900 sets of signals in London with bus priority installed, giving journey time benefits to London’s 9300 buses and >2billion annual passengers. In this presentation, Michael and David will highlight how recent work has increased levels of Bus Priority on London’s network by utilising equipment in innovative ways and analysing data never previously considered.

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Effectiveness of Bus Priority at MOVA Controlled Traffic Signals
Sam Oldfield - WSP

The importance of buses within a transport system cannot be overstated due to the clear benefits that they provide. A bus makes very efficient use of road space, and of time at signal controlled junctions, transporting more passengers than a private car can for the equivalent road space and potentially provides a socially inclusive mode of transport, delivering a sustainable service to all parts of society. With constraints on both budgets and available space, the ability to provide physical priority infrastructure such as dedicated bus lanes have diminished. Traffic signal priority measures have been successfully developed to reduce delays and improve bus journey times. However, much of the research undertaken has studied the impacts on networks of linked signals, with less emphasis on isolated junction. Historically, in MOVA, it has been possible to give conditional priority to buses, which has been successful when carefully considered in relation to traffic conditions, but this has been provided by rigid links, removing the optimisation process.

Recent developments in MOVA M8 have allowed the optimisation process to specifically consider select vehicles, offering them a weighted level of priority. Currently there is limited guidance into the feature that can inform traffic signal engineers on areas of best practice and recommended settings for the feature.

Following a Masters research dissertation studying the effects of different levels of weighting at various junction layouts, using Vissim and PCMOVA, combined with site experience, this paper presents the findings and demonstrates that Bus priority in MOVA can help deliver specific policy outcomes as well as provide overall network efficiency.

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Using Selective Vehicle Detection to Reduce the Impact of HGV Traffic on MOVA; does it work?
Mark Roxburgh, Andrew Hartley - Highways England

In 2017 Mark Roxburgh embarked on a project to undertake on street trials of selective vehicle detection to develop an evidence base for the principle of providing priority for HGVs at traffic signals sites using MOVA. The project was funded from the Highways England Innovation Designated Fund and Siemens were contracted as a partner to provide and install the selective detection. The project set out to test the following hypothesis:

“We can now retrofit equipment to the controller on an existing MOVA site to provide selective detection of large vehicles and thereby modify the MOVA control to reduce stops for large vehicles, improving emissions and air quality, improving junction throughput and reducing fuel consumption”

At the 2018 symposium Mark presented, alongside Jack Durdle from Siemens, on the background of the project, the technology employed and the initial indications from some of the early data. Having now completed an extensive data analysis to evaluate that hypothesis, Andrew and I will now try and answer the question; “does it work?” and give a steer to other engineers and authorities considering implementing similar solutions.

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DfT Connected Vehicle Data Strategy
Andy Graham - White Willow Consulting, Darren Capes - DfT

Following on from last year’s presentation about the use of connected vehicle data, Darren and Andy will present an update on “the State of the Connected Nation” and the results of the DfT’s Connected Vehicle Data Strategy for connected vehicles, currently being developed with the assistance of JCT. It will explore what this means for practical traffic operation in the short and medium term.


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“ImFlow, let’s take a look under the bonnet”
Jakub Figiel – Dynniq

ImFlow is a software platform containing state of the art control algorithms to calculate the duration that traffic lights need to be green for.


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AI to control traffic signals: Lessons from live deployments in Manchester
Raquel Velasco – Vivacity Labs, David Watts – TfGM

Smart Junctions is a 3-year, Innovate UK co-funded programme exploring how Artificial Intelligence can be used to improve traffic signal control. This programme will result in a rollout across a region of circa 20 signal-controlled junctions in Greater Manchester, ultimately targeting a new paradigm for signal control.

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Reimagining Traffic Control and Management for Network Sustainability.
Professor Margaret Bell CBE - Future Mobility Group, School of Engineering, Newcastle University

This paper will look back at the beginnings of fixed-time area control of networks, plan change algorithms and benefits of co- ordination. The early attempts at developing demand responsive control systems at a time when detector technology was insufficiently robust and computers far too slow will be briefly explained. The basics of the fully demand responsive control system SCOOT, Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique will be explained and the need for research into the ageing of traffic signal plans being necessary to enable Local Authorities to justify expenditure on the state of art technology in the mid -1980s. However, despite increased sophistication in technology, within a decade increased car ownership, their use and for longer journeys, meant that traffic congestion remained a problem with the unintended consequence of poor air quality which remains a concern. Examples of traffic management measures to manage hotspots, and Air Quality Management Areas will be proposed and evidence that electric vehicles will not deliver the mandatory 67% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions target by 2050 over 2010 levels will be presented. The potential to use data available as by product of UTMC, Urban Traffic Management and Control to identify the level of traffic in a network which potentially will meet environmental objectives will be explored. Finally, ideas of how traffic control and management can help to reimagine and reengineer our networks in the future will be shared.

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How crowd sourced journey time monitoring can provide instant impact on SCOOT timings around events for the benefit of road users
Peter Cattell - Clearview Intelligence

A detailed guide on how real-time crowded sourced journey time systems work, and how this can be effectively used by traffic management teams alongside of, or in place of, traditional journey time systems. The paper/presentation will provide examples of how Bristol City Council have used the system to enhance their understanding of live traffic situations around large event venues and then used the data to adjust SCOOT timings for effective traffic flow to and from the venue.


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Traffic Signals Under SCOOT Control: Effective Design Principles
Jackie Davies - Bristol City Council

Traditionally, SCOOT has been considered to be suited to congested urban networks and MOVA has been considered to be suited to stand alone junctions. With the introduction of linked MOVA, the lines have blurred significantly between SCOOT and MOVA. This has led to a long running debate as to which is ‘best’.
The authors have found that the ‘best’ form of control at a junction depends on a wide range of factors. The purpose of this paper is to detail junction design issues that can assist or be detrimental when designing a site for SCOOT or MOVA control.

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TRL Software UTC Powered by SCOOT 7
Subu Kamal - TRL, Hannah Tune - TfGM

TRL Software have been developing a UTC system that includes SCOOT, known as the TRL Software UTC Powered by SCOOT 7. The wealth of data that is produced by SCOOT and the UTC, hitherto, has not always been easily available. TRL’s SCOOT UTC produces data which can accessed in real time (as SCOOT runs) or stored and made available for later analysis.
Open data historically focused heavily on the belief that “if we open the data they will come”. However, the lack of two-way engagement limits the understanding of data requirements and how an authority can better support exploitation. TRL Software have been working with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in order to explore the possibilities that are created by making SCOOT data openly available. TfGM have over 1000 traffic signals in 10 districts connected to their Urban Traffic Control system and are focused on making data available.

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Innovation in Cycle Highway Design and Integration
Alex Moody, Laurence Brown - Siemens

The Welsh Government was challenged in the High Court by ClientEarth about excess Nitrogen Dioxide levels in Wales. Public Health Wales have stated that poor air quality in Cardiff City is the second greatest health concern after smoking and is the most significant environmental determinant of health. The Welsh Government subsequently made a legal agreement with ClientEarth to take action to bring the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide down to the permitted levels in the shortest time possible.
Private cars and taxis produce around half of the emissions in the city, the other half, by buses and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The simple remedy for this is to move people from individual cars, to buses and bicycles, while HGVs continue to deliver necessary goods, and taxis transport those who are unable to drive or cycle.
The solution involves several methods. Firstly, a low emission zone where private vehicles are charged for driving in the area. Decreasing desire to drive and creating a money influx for the government. Secondly to improve the bus infrastructure, upgrading older buses and implementing electric buses, greatly decreasing emissions. And finally, where we come in, improving active travel and creating facilities and traffic signal integration to ensure maximum safety and efficiency.
As part of the reduction in air pollution, a cycle superhighway will be implemented, and Siemens were engaged by Cardiff Council as a consultant to design an efficient, innovative solution to keep vehicles and cycles moving safely on the carriageway. Our paper highlights one of the first of many innovative cycle schemes throughout Cardiff using technologies such as magnetometer detection, ELV, technologies, nearside pedestrian signals used as farside indicators, low level cycle signals, SCOOT for cycles and overhead cycle detection.


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London Streetspace plan
Helen Cansick, Andrew Wiseall and Susanna Kerry - TfL

Awaiting Synopsis

Improving Wolverhampton’s air quality through integrated data
Dr Shailesh Mistry - SWARCO, Paul Hudson - NOW Wireless

Pollution, be it noise, light, or air, is a recognised challenge to health and wellbeing in the urban and rural landscape. The problems have been most acutely experienced in urban areas where the migration of large numbers of the population to cities created crowded living conditions. As more data has become available, it appears the problem also affects anyone living and working near significant transport infrastructure.

The City of Wolverhampton Council, along with many others, are becoming more aware of the health issues for the public arising from over-exposure to high levels of pollutants including NO2. Working together with SWARCO and NOW Wireless, the City of Wolverhampton wanted to use data to enable them to make informed decisions around their traffic strategies and to see if they could resolve issues that the city faces.

The West Midlands (combined authority) already had the NOW Wireless secure carrier grade wireless network in use for their on-street applications and had been for over ten years, amounting to around 2,000 devices. This system provides a communication network that devices, such as Pollution Monitors, and Bluetooth Detectors, can utilise.

Once data has been collected it could then be processed using SWARCO’s MyCity traffic management platform allowing them to then implement effective traffic strategies to reduce pollution. The task of understanding how the city is being affected and where the hotspots are, was designed to be intuitive. The team working on the project at Wolverhampton could set their own threshold levels, and the data, status, and impact of changing conditions can be viewed in real-time.

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ITS asset management within IMTRAC and developing business cases: the art of getting more money
Peter Routledge – IRC Consultancy, Peter Simpson - Hertfordshire County Council, Chris Gladwyn - Ringway

In the current economic climate maintaining budgets for traffic signal maintenance and refurbishment is a challenge and achieving increases in budgets is almost impossible. IMTRAC provides facilities to estimate the deterioration in asset condition over time and the how different budget strategies can impact on this rate on this deterioration, including holding or improvement asset condition. This paper describes how these IMTRAC facilities were used to support the case for a 150% budget increase for traffic signals in Hertfordshire.

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SVS, trialling the Smartmicro UMRR-11 Type 44 multi lane radar
Shane Collins - 4Way Consulting, Andy Reynolds - A-one+, Peter Eccleson – SVS

As part of the Area 4 validation and optimisation project paper presented at last year’s Symposium, the A27 Ashcombe Roundabout was looked at as a case study. Due to failing detectors at the site Aone+ and 4way Consulting are working with SVS, trialling the Smartmicro UMRR-11 Type 44 multi lane radar as a multi lane MOVA detector. The paper will present the results of the trial to date focussing on the design solution, installation, MOVA performance, and any lessons learned to be taken forward.


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They are ‘Talking Traffic’ in Europe… Are we?
Alex Verploegh – Dynniq

When it comes to the next generation of Traffic monitoring and control, Talking Traffic is an open standard in parts of Europe, but where are we in the UK?


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Real Time Optimiser - the latest from the streets of London.
Irfan Shaffi - TfL and Felix Rudolph - Siemens Mobility

TfL will discuss their vision for system evolution and the requirements for RTO and future adaptive control, and Siemens Mobility will provide an update as to the development status, approach, and expectations of the new adaptive control solution that forms a key deliverable of the RTO development.

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Further Information

If you would like any further information regarding the Symposium please don't hesitate to contact us at symposium@jctconsultancy.co.uk.


 

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