Road Traffic Signalling

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    WE learn from Roads and Road Construction for January that upwards of five hundred million pounds has been spent in roads and road construction during the past ten years. It is also stated that the work has neither been scientifically considered nor directed in relation to those chiefly concerned. The special aspect of road traffic signalling was considered at the Institution of Civil Engineers on Dec. 9. In opening the meeting, Major Aldington laid stress on the importance of extending the automatic signalling system to highways. This would expedite the movement of traffic and so would lead to economies. In the London area alone, £450,000 is spent annually in the provision of police to regulate the traffic at the points of intersection of roads. The provision of facilities for roundabout working and electric signalling would be a boon to drivers and would materially reduce the number of accidents. The discussion largely centred round the visual signal system adopted in Oxford Street. Some of the speakers suggested that the amber light should be regarded as the signal for pedestrians. Much was said in favour of a gyratory system being adopted in Oxford Circus. It was stated that the abolition of right-angled turns would be certain to make the traffic more fluid. It is also common knowledge that the traffic up Harewood Place, across Oxford Street, is often prevented from moving at certain times of the day, although the green lights are showing, by the crowds of pedestrians in Oxford Street. A model for the automatic control of signals at crossings was shown to the meeting, the signals being operated by the traffic.

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    Road Traffic Signalling. Nature 129, 163 (1932) doi:10.1038/129163d0

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