HE “plans smart trunk road” near Stoke | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

HE “plans smart trunk road” near Stoke

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Highways England is planning to turn the busy A500 and A50 roads into the country’s first “smart” trunk roads using lessons learned from smart motorways.

The Stoke Sentinel reports that variable speed limits, electronic gantry signs and real-time traffic management could be introduced to help ease congestion along the two routes.

It would be the first time the technology has been used on trunk roads.

The report says council and business leaders in the area want to see the concept piloted in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and have been developing proposals with Highways England.

“Active traffic management via CCTV and gantry signs would allow speed limits to be changed minute-by-minute in response to congestion or accidents, ensuring traffic continues to flow,” the report says.  “Road managers would also be able to close lanes and provide real-time information to motorists.”

A council spokesman told the newspaper, “We are interested in the concept of smart trunk roads to improve capacity and ease congestion on the main A-roads through the city.

“Highways England has put forward the concept as a way of rolling out the smart motorway initiative to other trunk roads. There are potential benefits around having active traffic management in place that responds to real-time needs, including variable speed limits.”


There would be little need to put variable limits on the A500 if the traffic could be made to flow better. Maybe place effective speed enforcement that covers the whole road from start to finish, an average speed system perhaps, then drivers wouldn’t casue stop-start bunching by high speed traffic comining across traffic behaving lawfully.