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Bridge alerts on cards for drivers

PUBLISHED: 14:38 19 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:19 05 July 2010

HOPES were raised this week that a sophisticated computer system could help give commuters in Lowestoft information about day to day bascule bridge openings.

HOPES were raised this week that a sophisticated computer system could help give commuters in Lowestoft information about day to day bascule bridge openings.

Questions have been posed over the past few weeks about the lack of restrictions placed on Associated British Ports when allowing commercial vessels, yachts and pleasure boats to pass through.

ABP have already stated they have a legal responsibility to allow vessels access and admitted that the bridge will be lifted on average seven to eight times a day, and sometimes even 10.

But after investigations The Journal has learnt that the urban traffic management control system being introduced in the town could give motorists a glimmer of hope by electronically advertising bridge openings on signs across the town.

The UTMC system is currently undergoing its six month testing process and is designed to monitor the amount of cars on roads and make adjustments to prevent the build up of congestion.

It is the last part of the Sunrise Scheme/South Lowestoft Relief Road works to be completed.

Paul Moss, project manager of the Sunrise Scheme, said once it was 100pc working he saw no reason why the permanent awareness signs being used for bridge closures couldn't be used.

He said: “This purpose was part of the original planned use and ties in with the real time passenger information system which will be rolled out at certain bus stops. All the systems are linked through UTMC so the ability is there.”

Costing nearly £2.8m, UTMC is a central computer set up at Ipswich and can judge the movement of vehicles and change the timings of lights, signals and crossings to help keep motorists on the move.

Also the effects of accidents, abnormal loads and broken down cars will be countered by the intelligent decisions made by the computer.

Once the process is fully live around eight cameras along with communication systems will be in service at key junctions and locations across the town.

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