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Essential signal upgrades to give buses priority

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Portsmouth City Council 2016Portsmouth City Council is upgrading traffic signals at three major junctions in Portsmouth to improve traffic flow, as it progresses plans for a bus rapid transit network in the area.

The first junction to receive the upgrade is the junction at Havant Road/Eastern Rd/Farlington Avenue. Combining work with the council's resurfacing programme, and to minimise disruption, the signals will be replaced overnight between Monday 14 October and Friday 22 November.

Work, which takes place between 7pm and 6am Monday to Friday, comprises upgrading the traffic signals with sophisticated Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA) technology and replacing the cable under the pavement. Existing vehicle detection equipment will be replaced, and new low-level early-release cycle signals added to the junction. The installation of the MOVA system will seek to improve traffic flow by generating its own signal timings depending on traffic levels, dispersing traffic as efficiently as possible. While the new cycle signals aim to improve safety for cyclists.

Temporary traffic lights will be in place for the duration of works, and there may be some overnight lane closures, so drivers should allow extra time.

Councillor Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said. "As an island city with limited road space, we can't always create designated bus lanes. By giving priority to buses, this technology will improve local bus journey times while maximising traffic flow to benefit other road users. Keeping the traffic moving means we reduce congestion and improve air quality at busy junctions. The new signals are extra low voltage, so are more energy efficient too."

These essential signal upgrades support Portsmouth's ambitious bid to the government's Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), and are funded by the first wave of TCF funding. Working in partnership with Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight Council, the Portsmouth city region bid proposes to improve public transport by introducing rapid transit to Portsmouth and surrounding areas.

Centred on a network of bus-priority routes, South East Hampshire Rapid Transit aims to make it easier, quicker and more reliable for people to travel in the area using public transport. Signal upgrades such as these maximise traffic flow and give priority to buses, while low-level signals will improve safety for cyclists.

Signals at the junctions of Copnor Road and Burrfields Road, and Fratton Road/Lake Road and St Mary's Road have also been selected for upgrades. All three junction improvement schemes have been selected based on proposed rapid transit routes.

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