Congestion-busting A65 signal improvements move step closer to reality

19 June 2019

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Improved traffic signal facilities along the A65 will improve bus journey times, senior councillors will hear next week.

Members of the council’s decision-making executive board are being asked to approve the detailed design and construction of this scheme, which was first announced last year.

They’re being asked to approve expenditure of up to £1.2 million on improved signals along one of the busiest road arteries into Leeds.

The council hopes the smart adaptive traffic signal controls will reduce delays and congestion, resulting in improved air quality.

The system to be introduced is known as SCOOT, which stands for Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique. The split refers to green light time at each signal, cycle is the time needed to serve all needs at an individual junction point, and offset is maximising the co-ordination between one set of signals and the next.

The system works by responding to variations in traffic flow, aiming to reduce the number of stops vehicles need to make.

It will also include a bus priority enhancement element, which aims to improve bus journey times as well as reliability, and reduced pedestrian waiting times at crossings.

As part of the scheme, new variable message signs will be installed to provide real-time journey time information to road users.

The system is already in use in London, where Transport for London research has shown it has delivered an average general reduction in time delays of 12.7 per cent on roads in the capital.

A council report says:

“Leeds’ transport infrastructure represents a major challenge for the City. Years of under investment and its impact on the city’s economy and quality of life means a comprehensive package of interventions are required over the next decade.”

Councillors will also consider a package of improvements along the A61 North corridor, between Sheepscar interchange and the Grammar School at Leeds, covering both Scott Hall Road and Harrogate Road. Improvements include new bus and cycle lanes, junction changes and other improvements.

The executive board meets next Wednesday in Leeds Civic Hall at 1pm.

The report can be read in full here.


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