Over the past decade, the traffic systems manufacturers have made great strides in reducing the energy consumption of traffic systems, the switch to modern electronics and LEDs has had a marked impact on electrical consumption of installations. However, in the coming few years, we will need to continue to reduce the environmental impact of our installations to a level that aligns with the goals set in the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact in November last year.
To achieve this, a re-evaluation of the requirements for installations will need to balance the benefits of safety and efficiency against the impact these systems have on our planet. As part of this process, we will need to assess if the level of equipment provision for sites is necessary, do we need to include all the facilities we have grown to expect at different types of sites?
In addition to the equipment we specify, the way in which the civil’s elements of installations are constructed needs to be updated to ensure the maximum benefit is achieved, so as well as reducing the level of embodied carbon in the construction process, making sure that the sub-surface elements are well built and flexible will provide more benefit by extending their expected service life well beyond the expectancy for the equipment above ground.
Finally, the operation of our systems will need to evolve to cater more effectively with active transport modes whilst also considering the effect that the evolution of connected vehicles will have on our highways.