26 June 2017

A smoother ride with the connected city

Transport and highways across the city are being improved by the use of new technology and innovative ideas.

Latest improvements being put forward are an extension of priority lane cameras.

The proposal is to replace the three existing cameras and purchase 21 new ones, to be funded by the council and the regional Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), with the option of buying up a further 20 at a later date. This would massively improve the council’s capacity to manage and monitor the city’s busy road network. The traffic control team will be able to better respond to congestion or incidents as they occur, by, for example, altering traffic lights phasing to ease traffic flow and being able to get information faster, reducing disruption  for road users.

It will also improve capacity to enforce illegal driving in the priority lanes, improving journey times for bus, taxi and coach passengers, and some motorcyclists.  They also provide vital clearways for emergency vehicles, when needed.

Brighton & Hove is working with partners to make best use of new technology in the transport and highways network. This includes improving traffic signal-controlled junctions and pedestrian crossings, information for drivers, bus passengers and cyclists, and expanding the city’s electric vehicle charging point network.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The extra cameras are part of a move to use new technology to improve the transport network for residents, businesses and visitors. Innovations like mobile-friendly ‘real-time’ bus information or using technology to  respond more efficiently to congestion, incidents and roadworks is making a real difference to travelling around the city.”

A programme to replace street lighting with new energy efficient LED lighting, which can significantly reduce carbon emissions, also includes the potential to introduce ‘smart technology’ into the lamp columns. This allows better control over individual lamps to ensure accurate switching on and off and fault reporting/repair times, and also wider uses such as wi-fi and sensors that can collect information on weather (useful to assess gritting in winter) , traffic speed and congestion, air quality, gully conditions and available parking.

Last month SGN worked with the council to upgrade the gas supply network in Western Road by using a robot underground, lessening the impact of the road works in a very busy, city centre location.

The LEP funding is worth just under £270,000, and is the final stage of a three-year programme that secured nearly £2 million overall. If agreed by the environment, transport and sustainability committee tomorrow, 27 June, the new cameras would go live on 1 April next year.

Read the reports for the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee (Intelligent Transport System - Bus Lane Procurement, is agenda item no. 18)