Smart traffic corridor


Newcastle leading the way in using digital technology to tackle congestion.

Over one billion vehicle miles were travelled on roads in Newcastle last year. However, the road infrastructure has gone 30 years without significant investment in modernisation.

To tackle congestion issues, Newcastle City Council wanted to harness the power of digital technology to improve traffic flow, safety, efficiency, emissions, and better manage our road network.

Solving the problem

Newcastle City Council, in collaboration with Newcastle University, has been awarded an extra £100,000 to extend the city’s ‘Smart Corridor’ – an innovative scheme that uses smart technology to help manage traffic flow on a busy Newcastle street.

In total, £748,200 has been awarded which is being used to support the roll out of the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) project involving bus services operating on Gosforth High Street.

This important work shows if we get it right, it can cut congestion, speed up journeys, clean up the environment, and improve accessibility. 

Andrew Jones, Roads Minister

The scheme – one of only two in the country – involves using digital technology to connect buses with traffic signals in order to improve bus journeys for passengers, reduce congestion at key junctions and improve air quality on major bus routes. Building on the three-year Compass 4D project led by Newcastle University, the system allows the traffic signals to ‘talk’ to units on board the buses, holding the green light for a few seconds longer if the bus is approaching so the bus can pass through.

The equipment was be fitted in spring 2017, with data collected and evaluated into 2018.

Key objectives

One of the key objectives of the project was to equip at least 45 vehicles with On Board Units (OBUs) which collected and processed data from the Roadside Units (RSUs). The information was then analysed using Energy Efficient Intersection Service (EEIS) generating Messages within Human Machine Interface (HMI). Reece Innovation won a competitive tender to supply and integrate these OBUs.

Reece Innovation has selected a suitable OBU capable of receiving data from existing RSU’s and successfully integrated them into a range of city council vehicles, including patient transfer vehicles, buses, private cars, and freight/delivery vehicles. Total deployment of the system contained of 40 vehicles.