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Traffic lights switch-off experiment comes to end

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

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POSITIVE noises are being made over a trial switch-off of traffic lights along a busy Cheltenham road.

Lights in St Margaret's Road, near The Brewery, were covered up by Highways workers as part of a three-week experiment which came to a conclusion on Friday night.

The exercise, which was managed by Cheltenham Development Taskforce, Gloucestershire County Council and Cheltenham Borough Council, was designed to see if turning off the lights would improve traffic flow.

Jeremy Williamson, director of Cheltenham Development Taskforce, said: "Whilst there is no formal analysis available to date, the anecdotal comments made, particularly by local residents, is that the trial did generate some improvements in traffic flow.

"We are yet to understand the full impact for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Colleagues at Gloucestershire Highways will be reviewing all the data collected to see if it can provide us with recommendations for making changes in the future."

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  • tykelip  |  December 04 2012, 5:22PM

    If the anecdotal evidence is at least favourable, why not extend the 'experiment' while the detailed study being is carried out? By switching the lights back on now, simply because the (arbitrary) trial period has ended, someone is showing a depressing lack of flexibilty.

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  • system64  |  December 04 2012, 2:46PM

    Lol @ the Red Arrows, Its like an Air Show in here. I can see what your saying and yes, Maybe a green "wave" would help. But i fear the only solution is either turn the whole lot off. Or maybe while off, only allow side roads to exit right. so they don't cross the road. This might keep the traffic flowing...

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  • galopede  |  December 04 2012, 2:25PM

    System64. Know what you're saying but, as most of the traffic is going straight along the road from one end to the other, why is there so much time when traffic is being allowed in from the side roads? Surely the way to get things moving is to have the priority given to traffic actually moving along and get it out of the system at either end as fast as possible, not hold it all up every few metres along? A "Green Wave" is what's needed and then allow the side stuff in.

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  • system64  |  December 04 2012, 12:29PM

    re:galopede "Just sorting the sequences out might help. I do like the way that, as your light turns green, the next set a few metres along goes red..." Hmm. That "may" work however, by the very nature of traffic lights. No matter how you sync them someone will always leave a green light into a red one. Its just how it works. If you left a green light to go into another green one then they might as well just turn em off.

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  • cheltenham20  |  December 04 2012, 9:52AM

    Of course it made sense, Now perhaps they could turn a few more Traffic lights off,,

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  • galopede  |  December 04 2012, 9:52AM

    I had noticed! Went along there from the London Road side to Swindon Road Sunday afternoon and it was solid again. Just sorting the sequences out might help. I do like the way that, as your light turns green, the next set a few metres along goes red...

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