Traffic tech helps late buses in Greater Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester has carried out a four-week long pilot using the latest traffic signalling technology to help late running buses make-up time on one of Greater Manchester’s busiest bus corridors, the A6 Stockport Road.

SCOOT (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique), technology was used, which analyses real-time traffic data to optimise and co-ordinate traffic signal timings.

By using transmitters found on most buses, the SCOOT system would quickly identify the vehicle to extend the green time as it approached lights – effectively enabling late running services to pass through the junction without the need to stop and wait.

The system was used to prioritise the journeys of Greater Manchester’s busiest bus service, the 192, at 14 sets of traffic lights along the busy route between Stockport and Manchester, by the ‘lateness’ of each given bus.

Results showed that of all messages received by the signals throughout the week, 11.8% resulted in priority being granted to buses running behind schedule, providing an average saving of 31 seconds per junction.

The scheme monitored both benefits to buses and general traffic, as well as the impact on pedestrian wait times.