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The facts behind Shropshire's traffic lights

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Have you ever wondered why there are so many traffic lights in Shropshire? Figures released today show traffic lights are proving to be the bane of drivers' lives both in the county, and across the country, as the number of red light hold-ups increases.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many traffic lights in Shropshire? Figures released today show traffic lights are proving to be the bane of drivers' lives both in the county, and across the country, as the number of red light hold-ups increases.

Bosses at the RAC Foundation said the number of lights has risen sharply since 2000. There were now more than 25,000 sets in the UK.

Shropshire Council is responsible for 143 traffic signals in the county while bosses at Telford & Wrekin Council are in charge of about 90.

But the Safer Roads Partnership in Shropshire today said the lights were essential for drivers and vulnerable pedestrians.

The report, produced by former Whitehall transport and planning chief Irving Yass, also revealed the number of traffic signals equipped to give priority to buses went up from 3,801 at the beginning of 2007 to 8,425 at the end of 2008.

The report said: "The Department for Transport should consider carrying out trials of flashing amber lights at times when there is little traffic, which would allow drivers to proceed with caution at junctions.

"Authorities should consider standardising the green man invitation to cross period at six seconds rather than 10 seconds and there should be wider use of the countdown system which shows pedestrians just how long they have to cross the road."

Defending the lights in Shropshire, a spokeswoman for the Safer Roads Partnership said: "Traffic signals have a part to play in road safety. The increase of their use in some more urban parts of the country has clearly highlighted an issue but locally they continue to perform an important role in controlling the traffic flow on our roads and improving the safety of all road users."

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On the national increase in lights, Vicki Bristow, from Shropshire Council, said: "On average we install traffic signals on one junction and two crossings a year which equates to a four per cent increase per year."

Russell Griffin, spokesman for Telford & Wrekin Council, said: "Most traffic signal sites relate to new development or as part of road safety improvements."

By Jason Lavan

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