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Signalling for Roadworks (SfR)

IBI Group developed an innovative solution that uses existing variable message signs, controlled and coordinated by traffic management centres, to display advance warnings of lane closures. 

Highways England
England, UK
£30M Total savings
Complete Status

The Signalling for Roadworks (SfR) solution delivers software changes within Highways England’s Traffic Management System, enabling Regional Operations Centre (ROC) operators to set signals for roadworks and incidents simultaneously. Operational rules for traffic engineering, defined by IBI Group, automatically resolve signing conflicts, and improve queue detection signalling. This means signs are set in response to queueing traffic but ignore slow moving maintenance vehicles in the work zone, ensuring safety and maintaining free-flowing traffic. Live trials of SfR on England’s London Orbital Motorway (M25) and connecting motorway (M1) have demonstrated a minimum two-hour reduction in live lane risk exposure, and 40-minute reduction in duration.

Working closely with traffic operators and maintenance service providers to deliver a two-year trial, IBI’s SfR demonstrated huge benefits including:

  • Live lane exposure reduction of two hours per works by eliminating tin-plate signs;
  • increased safe locations to set out cones;
  • improved queue detection technology, ignoring slow-moving maintenance vehicles while protecting the public;
  • improved driver compliance;
  • reduction in workload; and
  • a 50% increase in speed of setting signs.

SfR implementation on the upgraded M4 motorway, a major route from London to the West of England and Wales, will increase the number of safe locations by 250 per cent. It will also reduce roadwork lengths and environmental impact by eliminating alternative electronic signs, roadside cabinets, controllers, and power supplies, achieving over £4M in capital savings on a single stretch of 33 miles.

Initially designed as a safety intervention, SfR is planned to be incorporated into Highways England’s new Traffic Management System, on all smart motorways, achieving capital savings of over £30M.

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