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'Software failure' for traffic lights at Cole Avenue, Gloucestershire's busiest junction

By citizenmike  |  Posted: December 18, 2013


'Nightmare': Traffic lights at Cole Avenue junction

Comments (8)

Gloucestershire's busiest junction has become a ‘nightmare’ after computer software that controls the traffic lights crashed.

The Cole Avenue traffic lights, in Quedgeley, have special computer technology under the road surface which should monitor the number of vehicles on each arm of the busy junction and control the lights accordingly.

The complex system, designed to manage traffic flows, broke down earlier this year.

But now that the hardware has been repaired, it has emerged that the computer software that controls the lights has now crashed.

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Parish councillor Anna Mozol, who also represents the area on Gloucester City Council, said: “If you hit it at the wrong time it is an absolute nightmare.

“Anyone going to Quedgeley from Pets At Home will find the timings are all wrong. It is horrendous and it has been going on for far too long.”

When traffic flows are high, the ‘Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation’ device is supposed to switch the lights to green on the busier arms to alleviate queues.

But when the software crashes it reverts back to a default timed phasing of the lights which lies at the root of the problem.

County councillor Mark Hawthorne (C, Quedgeley) has vowed to tackle the problem. He said: “I can confirm there has been a new traffic lights issue. We had the hardware problems and now we have a software failure.

“It is apparently affecting similar junctions all over the country but a fix is being worked on.”

The debacle of the traffic lights has dragged on for around three years now. Back in September 2011, Barry Kirby, now a county councillor, said: “Residents deserve it to be a reliable junction. This has been going on a long time, since the lights were renewed, and they keep breaking leaving drivers to negotiate their way through the junction at huge risk.”

The junction brings together Bristol Road, the A38 and Cole Avenue and is a major route to Quedgeley and the M5 – and in the other direction it is one of the primary gateways into Gloucester.

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  • x__L__A__x  |  December 20 2013, 3:35PM

    I drive this route to and from work everyday Mon-Fri in rush-hour traffic, and I wouldn't have said the junction is any busier than the others that are in the area. I think it's a little silly to assume that you can just breeze straight through and not hit any traffic particularly during the morning and evening rush-hour traffic.

    Rate   1
  • citon  |  December 19 2013, 1:32PM

    the C&G roundabout is the perfect example of fouling up a perfectly good roundabout system with traffic lights. The other thing that winds me up is the fashion for putting traffic lights at the roundabout junctions, for pedestrian crossings. The Highways come up with some stupidity, like the shutters at J11, but that about tops the lot for accident potential.

    Rate   3
  • GlosAnarchy  |  December 19 2013, 1:25PM

    daveofglos it's part of the junction during the ground works for the construction of the SW bypass...

    Rate   -1
  • GlosAnarchy  |  December 19 2013, 1:21PM

    Oh and lets remember what a success the C&G roundabout is shall we!

    Rate   -2
  • daveofglos  |  December 19 2013, 1:15PM

    Is it just me who's wondering what relevant the photograph on this article has? It's not the junction being talked about.

    Rate   2
  • citon  |  December 19 2013, 12:14PM

    I was going to post what spindles12 did, almost word for word, so now I don't need to bother. Somebody somewhere is making some nice backhanders from these traffic light installations. All they do is foul up the flow and force traffic into passing on the wrong side, when they allow more than 3 vehicles at a time through of course. Let's have the roundabout back please.

    Rate 0
  • GlosAnarchy  |  December 19 2013, 11:37AM

    spindles12 - as I previously posted on this subject, I used to use the old roundabout there and there was an accident nearly every day, roundabouts are only good for junctions with fairly even distribution of traffic. Depending on the time of day the traffic is less than even and for this reason a roundabout would not be any good unless it was traffic light controlled and at this point you are back to square one!

    Rate   -1
  • spindles12  |  December 18 2013, 5:48PM

    May I make a suggestion? Why not build a nice roundabout with perhaps a weeping willow in the middle and a little river running through it. Have a few ornamental birds like the the coot or moorhen and seasonal flowers to give it some colour. Oh, what was that, we already had that but you dug all that up and replaced it with that huge collection of traffic lights. Whenever there has been a breakdown in the lighting system and the Highways Authority or whoever have resorted to a cone roundabout, the traffic manages to flow quite carefully and freely and there are no hold-ups throughout the day just a bit busier at each end of the day. How lovely it would be to see our old roundabout reinstated instead of that mess of lights and all their problems but, of course, it will never happen.

    Rate   5