Dubai: Traffic flow in Dubai is likely to become at least 15 per cent smoother as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) embarks on a new project to upgrade and enhance traffic signalling systems across the emirate.

To facilitate the project, RTA has created a database of all traffic junctions. In the first phase, the project will involve synchronising and upgrading of 180 signalised junctions.

“The RTA is currently working on an integrated project to synchronise and upgrade databases for 180 main signalised junctions, 60 of them will be completed by the current year, and 120 next year,” said Engineer Maitha Bin Udai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.

Around 240 surveillance cameras have already been installed at various signalised junctions, the total of which has increased to 412 this year.

The signals, monitored and operated by the state of the art Traffic Control System Centres of RTA, have been installed in keeping with the latest international standards.

Maitha stated that the Agency has sought the assistance of specialised international firms to review and evaluate the performance of traffic signals in order to ensure their high efficiency.

She added that the project was implemented in response to recommendations made by a traffic study conducted by the RTA to improve the performance of the traffic signals in the emirate.

According to studies on some junctions in Dubai, the trip time dropped by 15 per cent in areas in which the latest systems had been implemented.

The study also showed that the flow of traffic improved following the upgradation and synchronisation of signals.

As part of the project, engineers and operators of the Intelligent Traffic Systems will receive specialised training.

The project will also involve revising traffic plans and synchronising the timing of a number of traffic lights.

With the new intelligent system, the signal plans and traffic light duration will vary depending on the volume of traffic. It will also vary for peak and non-peak hours.

“Six different plans may be adopted for a particular junction on a same day,” she informed.

The new system will also ensure interlinking of a number of traffic signals so that they open and close in a synchronised way and ensure the uninterrupted flow of traffic.

“RTA is keen that the lapse time for all directions shall not exceed 240 seconds and that the connected traffic signals should not exceed 16 signals,” Maitha added.

With the new system in place, the capacity of devices operating the signalling system at the Control Centre will also be upgraded in order to manage the current and future demand of signalised junctions.

“The centre is equipped with the latest version of data analysis system to analyse information transmitted by sensors. The number of surveillance cameras increased to 240 cameras, and the agency is moving ahead with plans to improve the quality of traffic services rendered to the public,” said Maitha.