Targeting traffic

Traffex 2009 was a huge success, bringing together all members of the transport community, from both the public and private sector

Traffex 2009, the largest international traffic engineering, ITS (intelligent transport systems), road safety and highway maintenance exhibition, now in its 24th year, took place at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham 21-23 April.
The three-day event, which attracts all members of the transport community, from both the public and private sector, brought together over 500 companies from the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, and over 12,000 visitors.
The event was opened with a keynote address from Paul Clarke, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, who thanked the traffic management industry for its part in a massive reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on British roads. He said “We have been very successful in reducing casualties on our roads over the last decade. Many of you here today have played your part in achieving this success. But with nearly 3,000 people still dying on our roads each year, there remains a great deal of work to do. Our vision is for Great Britain to have the safest roads in the world and the consultation sets out our plans to reduce casualties on our roads further still.”
Speed enforcement
Mr Clarke announced the government would now be focusing on improving the road safety of certain groups including children and young people who are over-represented in the casualty statistics.
The Minister’s address was just one of a wide range of topical briefings and insights available from the transport industry’s leading experts through the Traffex Seminar Theatre.
The highlights included a session by Simon Griffiths, technical director of RedSpeed International, looking at the future of speed enforcement. He addressed the move from fixed and spot speed cameras to average speed enforcement cameras, which are demonstrating higher levels of compliance than spot speed enforcement in a number of countries in Europe where it has been deployed. Average speed enforcement cameras extend the enforcement zone beyond the 200-metre range of a fixed camera.
Numerous new speed enforcement technologies were presented at the show, such as SPECS3, the new generation of the highly successful average speed systems presented by Speed Check Services (SCS). SPECS3, the first distributed average speed enforcement system, is based on the experience gained from over 200 permanent and temporary installations. Each SPECS3 camera can act as a network node, allowing cameras to communicate back to a remote central installation, which means it can be operated within urban networks, 20mph zones, rural and urban routes as well as major motorways.

Road safety
Road safety was a highly debated issue. Andy Pledge of Passive Revolution Ltd, held a session discussing the benefits to designers of witnessing crash demonstrations of both passive and non-passive roadside items. Passive Revolution Ltd ran the Passive Safety Zone at the show featuring real cars that have been tested with both non-passive and passively safe products as well a special crash sled, which allowed visitors the opportunity to experience a simulated crash at 5mph. A series of specially recorded films also highlighted the products in action.
Energy cost savings have been moving up on the agenda with local authorities, which is apparent from the number of companies launching LED and solar powered technologies. Siemens introduced a new family of ST750P high-performance pedestrian controllers incorporating the very latest LED technology and lower power consumption. The technology is being trailed in Pool, Dorset at a key dual crossing in the city centre, which has already recorded a reduction in energy usage. The use of ELV reduces power and cabling costs, makes possible improved lamp monitoring of very low powered LED traffic and pedestrian signals and provides increased safety for members of the public.
Similarly, Clearview Traffic Group launched a ‘fit and forget’ solar-powered Logging Road Stud, which combines solar power with a vehicle-sensing magnetometer to reduce cost and increase versatility of highway data collection. The wireless unit, which is fitted flush with the road surface, has the potential to replace expansive to install inductive loop sensors or temporary rubber tube counters significantly reducing the cost and time of installation.

Three in one
Traffex was co-located with Parkex; Europe’s largest dedicated parking exhibition, organised in association with the British Parking Association, and Street Design; a visionary new event focused on conserving and enhancing the urban built environment, supported by the Landscape Institute, Institution of Lighting Engineers and The Highway Electrical Manufacturers and Suppliers Association, which proved to be highly successful.
Bill Butler, event director, commented: “The three events integrated into one hall delivered quality visitors and innovative showcases from UK and International companies. We were pleased to see the industry rising to the challenge of the recession and becoming increasingly proactive in both the public and private sector. It proves that there is business to be done even in these testing times.”
The next combined Traffex, Parkex and Street Design event will be held at Hall 5, NEC Birmingham, 3-5 May 2011.

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