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Bridge opening alerts on the cards

PUBLISHED: 15:19 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:23 05 July 2010

TRAFFIC CONTROL: Urban Traffic Management Control System at Bloodmoor Roundabout.

TRAFFIC CONTROL: Urban Traffic Management Control System at Bloodmoor Roundabout.

THE man behind Lowestoft's new traffic monitoring system has confirmed his intention to provide warning messages to motorists about daily bascule bridge openings.

THE man behind Lowestoft's new traffic monitoring system has confirmed his intention to provide warning messages to motorists about daily bascule bridge openings.

But Nigel Panting, project manager for the South Lowestoft Relief Road, said it was dependant on a partnership with Associated British Ports, who would need to provide the information.

Since ABP announced the lack of restrictions put upon them in raising the bridge The Journal has been investigating ways of trying to alert people of times when it may happen, in a bid to prevent large traffic queues.

And Mr Panting, who is responsible for rolling out urban traffic management control (UTMC), said he appreciated how helpful it would be if the system's computerised message signs was the catalyst.

He said: “My originally concept was that we gave advanced warnings at Oulton Broad and the bascule bridge when it was due to close, if we can get that information from the bridge operators. At Oulton Broad we are closely allied with its workings, but we need to try and get advanced warnings from the bascule bridge.

“It's an aspiration and something I'm interested in looking into further. We have one message sign in the north and two in the south so we may have to look at putting in a few more signs dotted round the relief road, perhaps around Mill Road or the AKD roundabout.”

UTMC is currently still undergoing its six month trial and computer equipment is being installed on lamp columns throughout the town.

Once this is complete information will be configured to correspond and co-ordinate with the central computer at Ipswich.

Mr Panting said they were working to a strict timescale, which he hoped would result in completion by Christmas.

“To be honest we're not getting any complaints. There have been a number of small glitches like people jumping lights in Station Square but in terms of the traffic flow, it appears to be ok.”

UTMC will be able to judge the movement of vehicles and change the timings of lights, signals and crossings to help keep motorists on the move.

There will be eight cameras along with communication systems at key junctions and locations across the town.

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