About Traffic Scotland
Network Operations manages the Traffic Scotland Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and associated web site. Network Operations is based within the Scottish Government's Transport Agency known as Transport Scotland.
What is Traffic Scotland?
Traffic Scotland enables the collection and distribution of real-time traffic information relating to incidents and events currently taking place on the Scottish trunk road network.
Road users on Scotland's trunk roads are provided with information about road conditions with the aim of ensuring that best use is made of the existing Scottish trunk road network and to improve the safety and the efficiency of the network.
By displaying messages on variable message signs, drivers are given advance warning of problems on the Scottish trunk road network. These may include roadworks, accidents, events, bad weather conditions and road closures.
On part of the trunk road network, overhead lane signalling improves road safety by telling drivers of lane closures and speed restrictions. This information can help drivers make the best response - from slowing down and changing lanes, through to selecting the best alternative route. When there are no known traffic incidents, safety messages are displayed. Traffic Scotland has an integrated web site.
Why is Traffic Scotland needed?
Traffic Scotland collects information about roadworks, accidents, congestion and weather events and is used to improve the operational efficiency of the Scottish trunk road network. Traffic Scotland provides users with information on current Scottish trunk road traffic conditions that will assist road users to make informed decisions as to the timing, routing and travel mode choice regarding current or proposed journeys. This information helps by reducing the disruption caused by incidents, minimising the effects of congestion and thereby improving the safety and efficiency of the road network.
Who operates Traffic Scotland?
Traffic Scotland is operated by the Traffic Scotland Operator (Amey) from the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre (TSNCC). The TSNCC staff have the role of implementing traffic control and network management across the Scottish trunk road network.
From the TSNCC, the trunk road network traffic conditions are monitored, using sensors, buried in the road, and closed circuit television cameras. The TSNCC have developed operational relationships with the following organisations to collect and distribute relevant traffic information:
- trunk road maintenance operators;
- local roads authorities;
- bridge managers;
- the police;
- the media;
- motoring organisations; and
- other interested parties.
The Traffic Scotland Operator operates the Traffic Scotland system and also answers the Emergency Roadside Telephones within the Trunk Road Network for Scotland.
Trunk road maintenance operators, who are responsible for maintaining the trunk road network, advise the TSNCC of roadworks planned and roadworks that may cause delay that are currently underway.
The TSNCC therefore has a key role in pulling together traffic information and distributing it to all interested parties, including road users.
How does Traffic Scotland work?
The core Traffic Scotland aims are to improve the safety of the network, and to increase the overall efficiency of the network.
To do this Traffic Scotland analyses traffic information from automatic traffic detectors and closed circuit television cameras. This is supplemented by information from Police control rooms, motorway emergency telephones, trunk road maintenance companies, and motoring organisations. Typical incidents that occur on the trunk road network and which can cause traffic disruption are traffic accidents, peak hour congestion, roadworks, bad weather conditions, road closures, and major sporting and special events.
When traffic disruption is detected, the incident details are entered into Traffic Scotland's central computer system either manually or automatically. When the response to the incident is assessed, appropriate messages on variable signs and/or control signalling are set. A high quality system requires that messages are not only set up quickly but also removed quickly when the incident has cleared. Traffic Scotland is able to assess the impact of various types of incidents, and quickly react with the most appropriate response. Safety messages, and messages which support national safety campaigns are shown on the signs when traffic information is not being displayed. Appropriate information is also passed onto the media and motoring organisations for radio broadcast.
Depending on the type of incident, two types of responses can be displayed to the road users:
Variable message signs located at key points in the Scottish trunk road network advise drivers of incidents and delays that lie ahead. This allows drivers to adjust their journey as they travel between the major urban areas.
Variable message signs and regularly spaced overhead lane signals on urban motorways provide warning and information to drivers concerning local traffic incidents, roadworks and delays. Automatic traffic detectors and closed circuit television allow rapid detection and response to traffic problems.
In addition to variable message signs and overhead lane signals, real-time information is distributed using the Traffic Scotland web site and associated WAP and PDA services.
The views of the public are always welcome and will help to ensure that Traffic Scotland is as responsive as possible to the needs of travellers.
The feedback we receive keeps us informed of how you use the site, what you think is useful and what you would like to see and helps us to determine the best way to deliver our traffic information to you. Please feel free to use our feedback form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to write to Network Operations with comments, or to seek further information our address is:
8th Floor (North Wing)
58 Dundas Street
Traffic Customer Care Line
Alternatively you can contact us through the Traffic Customer Care Line. The Traffic Customer Care Line operators have access to the Traffic Scotland Web Site and can provide this information over the phone to the caller. The Traffic Customer Care Line free-phone service can be contacted by calling 0800 028 1414.
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