Traffic lights that sense the speed of approaching traffic approved by DfT
14 April 2009

New government guidelines should mean that drivers don't spend so much time stationary at traffic lights.

A document released by the Department for Transport (DfT) allows local councils to adopt so-called ‘green wave’ traffic lights. These work via sensors which, when faced with a stream of traffic flowing at or below the speed limit, trigger a green light.

The technology should reduce both congestion and CO2 emissions, since traffic should flow more steadily.

The endorsement of green wave technology is a U-turn in government policy, which had previously discouraged such systems on the grounds that they would reduce fuel duty income.

"Tackling climate change is one of the single most important issues we face, and cutting road transport CO2 emissions will play an important part in that,” said a DfT spokesman.

"Urban traffic control systems, like green wave, help tackle congestion and vehicle emissions in urban areas, and a number are already being progressed as local major schemes.

"Our new guidance regarding fuel taxation will mean that greater priority will now be given to this type of scheme."

Matt Rigby

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK