New technology on Liverpool route will change lights for late-running buses

From April, the 86 and 86A bus routes, which run between Liverpool city centre, Garston and Liverpool John Lennon Airport, will benefit from Intelligent Transport System. Tony McDonough reports

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Buses on the 86 and 86A routes in Liverpool will benefit from Intelligent Transport System

 

Technology that can change red traffic lights to green as late-running buses approach a junction are being installed on one of Liverpool’s busiest bus routes.

From April, the 86 and 86A bus routes, which run between Liverpool city centre, Garston, Liverpool South Parkway, Smithdown Road and Liverpool John Lennon Airport, will benefit from Intelligent Transport System (ITS).

Its installation, one of the first in the country, follows a successful trial in September, ITS will be introduced at 31 junctions along the route. It is hoped that more efficient services will also help reduce emissions and improve local air quality. 

Green signal

ITS works by either extending the green signal as a bus approaches to allow it to progress without stopping, or by shortening the red light stage, allowing the bus to continue its journey sooner.

The technology uses Merseytravel’s existing Real Time Information (RTI) data to identify if a bus is late. Using this method will avoid the cost of fitting additional equipment to vehicles or the disruption of digging up roads to install fixed detectors. It also uses existing capabilities in Liverpool’s traffic signal control system.

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The ITS project, which is being delivered through the Bus Alliance and Liverpool City Council on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, is being financed through Local Growth Fund (LGF).

LGF funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

Major schemes

The project is part of a larger £25m programme to improve carriageways and structural maintenance, upgrade communications and to prioritise bus and freight transport on the Key Route Network (KRN). This is one of 15 major schemes being implemented on the KRN across the whole of the Liverpool city region.

In order to deliver better bus punctuality and reliability along the A59, County Road, Rice Lane, Walton Vale bus route, improvements are being developed at the A59 junctions with Barlow and Spellow Lane, Orrell Lane and at the Black Bull. The work will see improvements to the traffic signals that will also include pedestrian enhancements.

Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, said: “Buses are the backbone of our public transport system and we are determined to ensure that we can deliver the service that the people of our city region deserve.

“That is why we are constantly looking for ways to improve and this new development should improve both reliability and punctuality.”

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