Highways England: Claims and counterclaims on SVD

 

Highways England has re-opened the debate over the effectiveness of its current stopped vehicle detection (SVD) technology, claiming that it is ‘effective in all levels of traffic’.

The government-owned company made the claim in a statement it issued in response to ‘recent commentary about smart motorways’.

However, the statement contradicts both a recent letter to a coroner from Highways England’s chief engineer and recent statements toTransport Network.

”Local

In December, Mike Wilson wrote to Emma Brown, area coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, following an inquest into the case of eight-year-old Dev Naran, who died when the stationary car in which he was a passenger was hit on the M6 at a time when the hard shoulder was being uses as a live lane.

Mr Wilson described Highways England’s radar-based SVD system, which is in use on two sections of the M25 and being retrofitted to the M3, as ‘a radar system which detects stopped vehicles in low flow conditions’.

He told Ms Brown: ‘We are exploring other technologies which could reduce the risk to stopped vehicles in higher flow conditions’ but warned that ‘Highways England is unable at this time to set a timetable if and when this technology will be rolled out on the motorway network’.

Highways England has also acknowledged in correspondence with Transport Network that SVD does not work in conditions of high traffic flow.

Last week a spokesperson told Transport Network: ‘Recognising the risk to single stopped vehicles in low flow conditions on All Lane Running, we trialled and committed to roll out a stopped vehicle detection system specifically designed to mitigate the risk.’

The spokesperson added: ‘In higher flows MIDAS will take over.’

This is a reference to the Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signalling, which is in use across smart motorways and acts as a proxy for a system by detecting slow moving traffic. Reliance on this system has been criticised as it may only work once traffic is already effectively stationary, possibly because the stopped vehicle has already been hit.

In October, Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan told the Transport Select Committee that SVD ‘works’, but said: ‘we are rolling out stopped vehicle detection. It is challenging because radar is designed to ignore stationary things and detect things that are moving. To have a radar system that can see that something has stopped moving is a challenge.

‘The MIDAS system already detects slowing traffic, so that, if you break down and traffic starts to slow behind you, there are automatic signs and signals, but we are now starting to roll out stopped vehicle detection. It is not without its challenges. Indeed, we are looking to other technologies in the future and what might be out there to help.’

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA told Transport Network; 'There is a clear overreliance of technology on "smart" motorways, which by Highways England’s own admissions falls short of its targets.

'Stopped Vehicle Detection provides too many false positives in high traffic conditions which overwhelms the control centres, and MIDAS can’t identify a stopped vehicle in low traffic. Before the rollout of these motorways a full suite of systems should have been tested and modified before being installed on every scheme.

'However, the simplest solution would be to double the number of Emergency Refuge Areas for all new and existing schemes. Giving drivers more chances to get out of a live lane would reduce the risk of stranded vehicles being struck by the following traffic.'

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Community Services Manager

Copeland Borough Council
Competitive Salary
Looking for an energised and enthusiastic candidate to lead and focus the service through the challenges set by the Resources and Waste Strategy. Moresby, Whitehaven
Recuriter: Copeland Borough Council

Highways Infrastructure and Maintenance Manager - Highways Network

Bridgend County Borough Council
£37,813 - £40,760 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arrived inside the Highway Asset Maintenance Team within the Communities Directorate. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Business Support Officers - Transport Team (2 Jobs)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Within the Transport Team you will be required to work flexibly in accordance with the needs of the service, which can men... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transportation Planning Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
ou will have an excellent knowledge and understanding of transport policy at both local and national level. Expertise of both people and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Commercial Contract Supervisor

Wirral Borough Council
£30,507 to £32,878
No holding back. No excuses. Just change Wirral. Wirral, Merseyside
Recuriter: Wirral Borough Council

Technical Officer – Pest Control

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £23,836
This job is temporary for up to 11 months from the date of appointment to cover the absence of the current post holder. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Divisional Director Neighbourhoods & Sustainability

Glasgow City Council
£83,708 - £95,232 (LDR3a, Grade 11)
This innovative role will contribute to the Council Strategic Plan Theme of A Sustainable Low Carbon City Glasgow, Glasgow City
Recuriter: Glasgow City Council

Business Support Officer - Bereavement Services

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£18,795 - £19,171
You will be required to work front line with customers who are ordering memorials, our customers may be... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788
We seek an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Principal Transport Manager

Be First
Competitive Salary
As our Principal Transport Manager, you will deliver the Local Implementation Plan, ensuring the £2.4million TFL budget is used effectively London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Be First

Highway Operations Manager

Croydon London Borough Council
£43,590 - £45,585
We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated and well organised highway operations manager Croydon (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Croydon London Borough Council

Structures and Watercourse Manager

Croydon London Borough Council
Competitve
We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated and well organised manager to look over the structures team and wider Highway section. Croydon (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Croydon London Borough Council

Chartered Environmental Health Traineeship

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National Minimum Wage (Age appropriate) plus enhancements for night time working
During your two years with us you will... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Project Managers & Engineers (Highways/Transport Team)

Southwark London Borough Council
£36,486 - £43,404
If you have the relevant experience and you think you could contribute to our enthusiastic team environment, then we’d be delighted to hear from you. Southwark, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Southwark London Borough Council

Environmental Health Technician

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band E, £25,295 - £28,785 per annum
The successful candidate will get the opportunity to undertake a rich variety of food safety, workplace health and safety and public health duties. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

EHO/Surveyor Private Sector Housing

Brent Council
35,724 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
The council is pursuing a far-reaching transformation agenda that better meets the needs of our community so it is an exciting time to join us. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

(Senior) Environmental Health Officer/Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£35,724 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
Looking to appoint Environmental Health Officers to join our Food and Health & Safety Team, covering the... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Strategic Manager Highways and Transport

Isle of Wight Council
£65,620.00 to £70,915.00
Are you are looking for an ambitious and rewarding career move to one of the best places to live and work in the country? Isle of Wight
Recuriter: Isle of Wight Council

Senior Technician - Network Management

West Berkshire Council
£22.911 to £28.785 per annum (Grade G)
Looking for a Senior Technician who will have the opportunity to help in the design and construction of a variety of highway improvement projects. Newbury, Berkshire
Recuriter: West Berkshire Council

Senior Technician - Asset Management

West Berkshire Council
£22.911 to £28.785 per annum (Grade G)
You should be educated to HNC level (or equivalent) with at least 3 years post qualification experience relevant to the provision of this service. Newbury, Berkshire
Recuriter: West Berkshire Council