Traffic light expert and Smart Highways columnist Mark Pleydell is questioning the Road Safety Minister’s suggestion that roads flow better when traffic lights are switched off.
Andrew Jones said he noticed traffic “flows more freely” when traffic lights are not working in his constituency and told Parliament he would consider a pilot to see if turning lights off would work.
A trial in September 2009 has been highlighted where traffic lights at a busy junction in Portishead were switched off and covered up for four weeks, meaning drivers relied on “courtesy and caution” to navigate the junction, which apparently led to better traffic flow.
But Mark Pleydell, who runs his own consultancy after a lifetime in the industry, said, “we are all familiar with traffic lights at our pedestrian crossings and road junctions. They help us do what we Brits are often thought to be famous for, they help us queue in a fair and orderly manner. And, for everyone who drives to and from work, does the school run, or any of those other routine journeys, when the lights are working you don’t notice them, which is exactly as it should be.