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Stability returns to the Robin Hood Roundabout in Newbury

Started by Administrator, January 19, 2014, 04:10:21 pm

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Stability returns to the Robin Hood Roundabout in Newbury

It has now been five days since the last of the major problems with the traffic lights on the Robin Hood Roundabout.

The lights failed completely on Friday 10th Sunday 12th and Tuesday 14th. The failure brought chaos to the town, particularly on the Friday and Tuesday outages.

The traffic lights on the Robin Hood Gyratory are controlled using a very sophisticated system developed by Siemens. The system is called MOVA and stands for Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation. Using sensors embedded in the road, the system can detect when a particular entry point is experiencing congestion and can adjust the traffic flows accordingly.

Although the local council (West Berks) and Siemens experienced criticism over the recent problems, the system has worked reliably for several years now, even when it comes under extreme pressure when the M4 Motorway is closed and traffic is diverted onto the A4.

Old Goat

I'm sure it's wonderful technology!  That isn't the issue; it's more when things go wrong it takes an inordinate time to put things right.  Far, far too long in my view, and that this happened more than once in short order must demonstrate serious deficiencies in the service contract. 

Another issue, which to my mind is probably a design fault, is that the lights didn't simply switch out when they failed.  There may be some argument about this, but it would have saved silly comments from the Police, which just served to add to the confusion.

All in all, if this is the official response, it's a bit lame and those of us who were hugely inconvenienced by the problems deserve a better explanation - rather than some self congratulatory puff!

After all, in many walks of life we have far more sophisticated computer systems delivering faultless service, against even bigger traffic fluctuations year on year.  Yes, now and again, even these fault, but then where contracts are managed well they are put right pretty quickly.