Turn off Traffic Lights in Silent Hours

My idea is to turn off Traffic Ligjts in Silent Hours, maybe between 23.00hrs and 05.30hrs

I for one have sat at lights for ages in the early hours of the morning for ages when there is nothing on the road

Why the contribution is important

This will improve traffic flow, speed up your journey, lower the Electricity Bill and Carbon Foot Print within Bristol.

by user162427 on December 02, 2013 at 07:25AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.3
Based on: 13 votes


  • Posted by user563181 December 10, 2013 at 23:41

    Definately. What is the point of having traffic lights on when nobody is around. It would save people from wasting time and save electricity and reduce fuel consumption and consequent pollution.
  • Posted by user439515 January 13, 2014 at 16:10

    Whilst this sounds initially like a good idea there are a number of issues to consider:

    - Pedestrian accessibility (particularly visually impaired and vulnerable users)
    - Road Safety
    - Financial/Energy savings

    Pedestrian Accessibility

    Traffic signals provide safe crossing points for pedestrians. Traffic flows are light overnight so pedestrian crossings are not as necessary, however certain groups such as the visually impaired still rely on traffic signals overnight to enable them freedom of movement. This is provided by tactile cones underneath pushbuttons that inform visually impaired pedestrians when it is safe to cross.

    Road Safety

    There have not been any studies carried out on the safety of switching off traffic signals overnight as it has not been done on a large enough scale to provide sufficient evidence. Studies have been carried out on part time signals at roundabouts. This is where traffic signals are switched on during peak periods to increase capacity and switched off for the rest of the day. The studies have reported 66% increases on average in accidents at part time sites in comparison to both signal controlled roundabouts and give way roundabouts. The reason for this appears to be driver confusion as to whether the lights are working or not and confusion over the dual sets of road markings. Part time sites require road markings for when the signals are switched on and separate different markings for when the lights are switched off. There is no current consensus as to what road markings and signage should be applied when junctions are switched off (as opposed to roundabouts.

    Financial/Energy Savings

    Traffic signals are already dimmed at night and use about 40% less energy than they do during the day. The average annual electricity cost for a set of traffic lights is approximately £650. As the lights are dimmed overnight and the controller (which uses a lot of energy) has to stay on to switch the lights back on, the energy savings are limited. For a 6 hour period overnight you would expect to save approximately £80-100. This is not insignificant but the cost of implementing this change is high. To switch a set of lights to part time operation would cost in the region of £3-5000 so the payback period is 30-50 years. We have only been installing extra low voltage traffic signals with LED heads for the last 4-5 years. These traffic signals use 60-80% less energy than older sites which again reduces the benefits of switching signals off.

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