Lights Out Campaign

Give Traffic Lights the Red Light And Let's Get Going!

Green Unfriendly! It is a sad fact that all over the country we have seen our local authorities ripping out perfectly good roundabouts and implementing less efficient traffic lighting systems instead. Equally bad is when they install traffic lighting on junctions that don't need them or on roundabouts that were working perfectly well without them. Nobody wants it, it's green unfriendly and it causes its own array of problems, so why do they do it?

Less Efficient It is plain to see that unnecessary traffic lights and traffic lights on roundabouts make junctions and roundabouts less efficient. This is especially notable at night, when there is no traffic about and vehicles still have to stop at red lights. Wasting people's time. At peak times red lights prevent vehicles from moving when they need to and cause log-jamming - clogging up of the roundabout. This occurs when articulated lorries take up the space of three or more cars and overhang access routes to a point where other vehicles cannot move as a result.

More Hazardous! Traffic lighting on roundabouts can also increase the risk of accidents by interfering with the natural flow of the roundabout. Cars have to stop and queue up at the red light regardless and when the lights change to green it can be like the start of a formula one race, with all cars moving off at once and lane-jockeying to try and get into position and into the lane where they need to be. This is also more stressful for motorists.

Inherent Lag: All traffic lighting systems have an inherent lag in their design, as when the lights are changing phase, there is a period of time where no traffic is being processed. This inefficiency builds up over busy rush hour periods and causes a backlog of traffic that would otherwise not be there. Traffic lighting systems will never be as flexible, intelligent and quick thinking as the human brain and can therefore never be as efficient. This is why, when traffic lights break down, all of a sudden there is no congestion.

Using Initiative! Most members of the public are aware that when traffic lights breakdown there is less congestion and traffic flows better. We would like to get our local authorities to understand this also and remove as much traffic lighting as possible. Junctions and roundabouts without traffic lights also don't then need additional electricity or maintenance, therby saving us some money! Traffic lights actually prevent motorists from using their initiative and common sense, something that we should be encouraging more of, not less!

Pedestrian Crossing: Pedestrian crossing is sometimes an issue at busy junctions but can be addressed, as it still is in many places, by using independent pedestrian crossings. Preferably Zebra, or if not deemed safe enough, MPC (Modified Pelican Crossing), rather than the inefficient integration with traffic lighting systems as is the current trend.

Safety and Efficiency: Speed can sometimes also be an issue at some junctions and roundabouts, with inconsiderate motorists travelling too fast at times to allow others to safely integrate. However, to maintain safety as well as efficiency, this can easily be addressed with education and active signage, and where needed, the application of strategically placed clearly marked cameras.

Common Sense: With the rising concerns regarding pollution from current motor vehicle technology, we have to begin to understand that we are making matters worse with green unfriendly inefficient traffic management schemes such as bus lanes and traffic lighting systems. We have to get away from the controlling mentality and inefficiency of current local authority planning and get back to the application of some common sense!