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The smart way to switch from permanent to temporary traffic lights

The smart way to switch from permanent to temporary traffic lights

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ChallengeThe challenge

The process of transitioning from permanent to temporary traffic lights can be time consuming, expensive and involve numerous journeys to and from site, increasing carbon emissions.

Historically, temporary roadworks have required three separate providers on site; a traffic management company to provide the necessary signage, a traffic light supplier to bring temporary lights to site and a traffic signal engineer to decommission and ‘bag’ the permanent lights so that work can get underway. SRL was keen to find a way to make the process of switching between permanent and temporary lights more efficient.

SolutionThe solution

It is the third step in the process that is the most problematic because not only does it involve the additional cost of a traffic signal engineer visiting the site, but it frequently causes delays while site workers wait for them to arrive. Once on site the engineer - who may have travelled a significant distance for a job that usually takes less than an hour - must work at a height of between 4 and 6 metres to ‘bag’ the light.

SRL has created a two part solution to this problem:

1. Switching Service

SRL site personnel are now uniquely able to provide a switching service to decommission permanent lights while roadworks are undertaken and turn them back on once the project is complete. They have been specifically trained for cabinet access
to permanent lights and perform a visual inspection both before they are turned off and again once they’ve been turned back on.

This service eliminates the significant delays waiting for a signal engineer to arrive on site.

2. CoverMe Signal Bags

In partnership with Innovative Road Safety Solutions Ltd, SRL is now uniquely able to offer CoverMe bags, removing the need to ‘bag’ permanent lights at height. Made from PVC, CoverMe Signal Bags are manufactured to a patented design that allows an individual on the ground using an extension pole to open out a solid top cover and attach it to the traffic signal head 6m above ground level, before securing it with bungee cords.

CoverMe Signal Bags make it clear to road users that permanent lights are no longer in use in compliance with the Chapter Six requirement 27.7.1 that ‘All signal equipment, including push buttons, which are not in use should be bagged over or clearly marked as out of use when they are installed to avoid confusion to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Bags should be sufficiently opaque so that signal aspects do not show through when lit.’

This innovative solution significantly improves safety as there is no need to have a separate signal engineer on site.

Making the switch in Leeds with Colas Group

One of the first deployments of SRL’s new Switching Service and CoverMe Signal Bags was with Colas Group on a junction on Dewsbury Road into Leeds, part of the City Connect 3 project.

SRL Eurolights were being installed while temporarily works were undertaken. Once these had been connected to a portable UTMC device, SRL site operatives switched off and bagged 12 permanent lights - and pedestrian buttons – before activating the temporary lights and enabling work to begin.

The benefits

The combination of Switching Service and CoverMe Signal Bags means SRL is uniquely able to offer a complete temporary traffic light installation solution with significant benefits for traffic management companies and local authorities:

  • Improved safety - no need for work at height
  • Reduced carbon emissions – reduced visits to site
  • Reduce costs - SRL service is substantially cheaper than a separately arranged decommissioning service
  • Reduces delays - no need to wait for signal engineer to decommission permanent lights or for fault to be rectified once permanent lights have been switched back on
  • Full Compliance - with Chapter Six traffic control / associated equipment requirements

The way forward

At SRL, we believe that together our Switching Service and CoverMe Signal Bags offer a smart solution for the reduction of costs, delays and emission whilst also improving safety at temporary roadworks.

“SRL’s ability to decommission and bag off permanent lights before they switch on the temporary system is a win win for me. It saves time and money and totally eradicates the working at height risk on site. I don’t have to have a signal engineer on standby - it’s one less thing for me to worry about.”

Patrick Silter
at Colas Group

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