Smart traffic lights for Nicosia, Limassol

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The Transport Ministry is ready to launch a tender to introduce smart traffic light systems to ease worsening congestion in the two largest cities, Nicosia and Limassol, confirmed Communications Minister Alexis Vafeades.

This project is estimated to cost €7.2 mln with a timeframe of a maximum of 24 months to cover 125 of the busiest junctions in the centres of the two cities.

Some 75 junctions in the capital and 50 in Limassol will soon be equipped with state-of-the-art smart traffic lights.

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, Vafeades said the new system will regulate traffic based on real-time data collected from the roads leading to the junctions.

“We are leaving the existing system, under which there is a specific and fixed time for green and red lights.

“No more long queues forming in one direction waiting for the green light, while no cars are passing from the other direction,” said the minister.

He explained the system is based on traffic data collected by sensors (cameras) that will be placed at key points of the urban road network, which will be used in real-time and give instructions on how to operate the traffic lights.

Vafeades said the plan is to replace traffic lights at all intersections across the island with smart ones, “saving time for commuters and alleviating traffic congestion”.

Among the system’s advantages are reduced travel time by 10%-25%, reduced delays by 15%-35%, fewer “stop-start” by 10%-30% and decreased public transport travel time by 28%.

Overall fuel consumption for travel is expected to drop by 8%-10%, reducing pollutant emissions by 10%-15% and improving air quality.

The regional urban traffic control and management system – co-financed by the EU – will be implemented in Nicosia and Limassol in two phases.