UPDATED 30 March
Cowgate junction has reached its final milestone as it becomes a new permanent signalised junction, with intelligent traffic signals.
Cowgate junction’s new signals were switched on today (Wednesday 30 March), after the morning’s rush hour.
The new signals use an adaptive control strategy, known as MOVA (Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation), which optimises timings and queue management based on current demand as well as historical data to ensure traffic flows through the junction efficiently.
Most traffic lights in the city use simpler vehicle detection and fixed time plans with green, red and amber lights going off at regular and synchronized intervals, to start and stop the flow of traffic.
With advances in new technology, traffic signals have become smart and adaptive. The latest traffic signals can detect and sense traffic in an area and function accordingly. The lights will change intelligently depending on which roads have fewer or more vehicles. They can also prepare timings for traffic peaks and detect events such as a broken down car and adjust timings accordingly.
When the lights are first installed, it will take a while for the new signals to adjust to traffic flow. The sequences may not feel right at first but can be adapted to allow traffic to flow much more smoothly through the junction.
Our engineers have installed temporary timing plans, which they have based on computer modelling of how the junction may work, whilst the signals gather the data and build up their memory banks. This means that with every passing month the junction will know more and work better.
Another advantage of the new signals is that they are extra low voltage, saving 80% of the energy a conventional signal would use but providing the same glow. The new signals will also save around 5 tonnes of CO2, improving air quality.
Council operatives will be monitoring the new traffic light technology to ensure they are working effectively.
This is the final stages of the improvements and works on the main carriageway of this critical junction. There will be some peripheral work to the junction while the council complete some finishing off works to tidy up the areas around the junction.
We have a camera on site that is filming all of this activity - once we have enough footage we will post it on this site so you can keep updated on all our activities.