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Major long-term upgrade of traffic technology begins in Birmingham

As part of the £2.7 billion (US$4.3 billion) highways partnership with Birmingham City Council, leading UK public services provider Amey has placed its first major order for traffic signaling equipment with Siemens. The Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service is upgrading and maintaining the city’s road network for the next 25 years. The programme includes major improvements to traffic signals and management systems by Siemens.

According to Siemens’ Tom MacMorran, the order signals a highly significant step toward enhancing the city’s future road network to reduce congestion and improve safety for the traveling public. “As work on the city’s 2,500km of road network increases, Siemens will have a major part to play in support of this important partnership between Amey and Birmingham City Council,” he said.

The recent order represents the first two milestones of the traffic signal core investment period (CIP) of the project to replace over 600 traffic signal controllers with the latest technology within the next five years. Traffic signal controllers in Birmingham that are more than 15 years old in the first five years of the project will be replaced with the latest Siemens technology and controllers over 20 years old in subsequent years of the 25-year program will also be replaced.

Siemens began replacing the first of over 600 traffic signal controllers in January 2011.
The program is progressing well and, working together, Amey and Siemens are on course to replace the first 66 traffic signal controllers by April 2011. The works will ensure that the traffic signals in Birmingham are controlled by the most up to date and reliable controller on the market, ensuring the highway is safe for all road users in
Birmingham.

As part of the contract, Siemens will maintain traffic signals, variable message signs, car park guidance signs, warning signs, and outstation transmission units for the operation of urban traffic control and network data gathering. In addition to responding to faults, engineers from Siemens will provide routine maintenance at over 1,000 sites including regular inspections, electrical testing and preventative measures. This has included providing repairs to third party damage as a result of road traffic incidents, for example. The Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service is the biggest local government highways sector Private Finance Initiative in the UK and has attracted over £600 million (US$974 million) from the Treasury. Initially, Amey will deliver upgrade works within the CIP providing a step change of improvements to the city’s highways network over the first five years (2010-2015) to remove any backlog of work and increase standards.

March 4, 2011

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