Traffic control takes on philosophy of place

The new Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 6 on Traffic Control will give more of an emphasis on place – in line with Manual for Streets 2.

It also represents a move away from the previous TD50/04 guidance in relation to roads of speed limits 40mph and under, a senior Department for Transport (DfT) official has revealed.

Speaking at the well-attended 22nd JCT Traffic Signal Symposium and Exhibition this month, Sally Gibbons – a key architect of the new guidance – said the chapter will also include advice on signs and markings.

A peer review of the new chapter is due next year; however it is already creating excitement in the sector.

John Nightingale, a director at JCT Consultancy, which puts on the Symposium, told Highways: ‘The chapter will bring together lots of advice under one document. I have been party to the consultation on that and I have been very pleased with the way the DfT has been asking people to get involved.

‘Engineers have been crying out to get all that information in one place rather than using different documents and I think it will be one of the go-to documents that we will use moving forward when it comes out.’

The new guidance will supersede:
• LTNs 1/95, 2/95, 1/98
• TALs 5/05, 1/06, 1/08
• TD50/04 (in relation to roads with speed limits 40mph and under)

Ms Gibbons gave ‘a flavour of where we are going on pedestrian junctions’ by suggesting that ‘you can have a crossing without a guardrail’ and stating that for pedestrians there would be a focus on ‘desire lines, ease of movement and accessibility’.

She added: ‘The evidence on guardrails increasing safety is inconclusive at best.’

For cyclists, there would be advice on new measures including ‘low level signals, parallel crossings and “early release” signals’.

Also at the Symposium, Wayne Lovatt of Sapa Pole Products gave a presentation on changes to passive safety norm EN12767. A new version of the European Standard, which was first published in 2000, is being finalised.

Simon Morgan is the UK’s ‘key contact’ for European Standards body CEN, representing the UK mirror group that is responsible for EN12767.

Mr Morgan said he didn’t expect the new norm to be adopted before the end of 2018.

‘The new version is an improvement and has clarified which smaller steel and aluminium sections are deemed to be passively safe,’ Mr Morgan told Highways.

Mr Lovatt told delegates the norm is set to get ‘a little more complex’ and would include changes on ‘backfill type, collapse mode and directional sensitivity’.

The new norm is set to include two collapse modes: SE (separation) and NS (no separation), while it will likely include three different options for direction sensitivity; single directional, bi directional and multi directional.

Meanwhile, Mr Nightingale raised concerns about the impact of Brexit on the traffic control sector: ‘We were going down the road of linking our standards to the European ones; now we have to make a decision on what we are going to do.’

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