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London Buses to trial new Speed Technology

July 3, 2015

In what Transport for London have described as a ‘UK first’ 47 London buses are going to be fitted with innovative Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) technology which ensures vehicles cannot exceed speed limits. It’s an interesting way to see how speeding impacts upon the safety of buses and their passengers in the city and may be a step towards the technology becoming standard.

The new technology was outlined in London’s first ever Pedestrian Safety Action Plan in 2014 and it recognises speed limits throughout the city using Transport for London’s Digital Speed Limit Map of London and ensures that buses cannot travel any faster than this. The trials will take place on routes between Battersea and Finsbury Park and between North Greenwich and Bexleyheath as both these routes include a range of different road environments with a range of different speed limits to fully test the effectiveness of the technology.

Transport for London have stated that their trial will give them the opportunity to ‘understand the effectiveness’ of the technology in terms of ‘promoting speed compliance’ and of course ‘improving safety.’ The trials will also seek to find out more about the attitudes of the bus drivers and the passengers on the buses to the technology and if it proves successful and effective, it may be introduced across the whole of London’s fleet of buses, which number just short of 9000.

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Technology and Road Safety

There are many ways in which technology can support and improve road safety and with new innovations being developed, it makes sense to fully test and trial them for the safety of our roads in general. If the buses across London have their speed controlled then this should in turn help to influence the speed of other drivers on the road, thus providing more safety and protection for both cyclists and passengers.

This technology also comes at a time where more and more local councils are authorities are introducing 20 mph limits to help bring road accident numbers down. Wandsworth Council, for example, has just announced more 20 mph zones being introduced and there is hope that further boroughs and councils will follow suit and reap the benefits of lower speed limits. This in conjunction with the new technology on the buses may see more individuals adhering to road legislation and no longer flouting the rules of the road, to provide a safer environment for everybody.

At Lamb and Co we regularly work with individuals who have been involved in accidents where speeding was a major factor and it can be extremely traumatic and life changing, so any technology or changes to the law to further combat speeding are most welcome.

photo credit: LX54GZK london central PVL398 at paddington via photopin (license)