Intelligent Transport Systems

The Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) project will create a managed motorway by using an Intelligent Transport System to help regulate the flow of traffic approaching and crossing the Forth.

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Intelligent Transport System in action

This will open in phases from the winter of 2012, with the third and final phase going live on completion of the crossing in 2016. See map for further details.

The Intelligent Transport System will then extend along a 22km corridor from the M90 Halbeath Junction over the new bridge to the M9 north of Newbridge Junction.

This is the first time such as system will have been used in Scotland. Similar "managed motorways" have been successfully implemented in England, for example on the M42 and M25.

Drivers require no specialist skills to use roads featuring Intelligent Transport Systems.

Overhead gantries spaced regularly along the corridor will provide lane control, variable mandatory speed control and bus lane control. Variable message signs on the gantries will provide drivers with a wide range of traffic information.

Mandatory variable speed limits will be applied when necessary - e.g. during incidents or when significant congestion occurs.  The speed limits will be enforced.

The FRC Intelligent Transport System will be monitored and controlled through the Traffic Scotland Control Centre.

Benefits

Phase 1 & 2 map - click for larger version

There is clear evidence from similar schemes in the UK and across the world that Intelligent Transport Systems increase road operational efficiency, capacity and safety - this system will also improve safety for FRC construction workers.

During incidents or periods of congestion when demand exceeds capacity the system will set signals and message signs to inform and advise drivers to effectively manage incidents and reduce queues.

Variable mandatory speed control will help maintain a steady flow of traffic and limit congestion to make journey times more reliable.

Evidence indicates that systems which reduce vehicle queues can reduce accidents resulting in injury by up to 13%.

Bus lanes

To help promote and encourage use of public transport within the Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) project, bus lanes are provided on the southbound M90 in Fife and on the southbound M9 in the vicinity of M9 Junction 1A. These will operate on a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week basis.

Fixed plate signs will be used to advise road users of the presence of a bus lane. The use of bus lanes is legally restricted to buses and coaches constructed to carry 24 seated passengers or more. Any buses that do not meet this requirement, or any other vehicles, are prohibited from using these bus lanes.

In case of breakdown or emergency

  • The bus lane is always accessible as a hard shoulder to any vehicle involved in a breakdown or emergency. When this happens buses will be diverted to the normal traffic lanes
  • In an emergency, one of the emergency refuge areas next to the bus lane/hard shoulder should be used. These emergency refuge areas have emergency roadside telephones with a direct connection to the Traffic Scotland Control Centre
  • If you can't reach an emergency refuge area in your vehicle, the hard shoulder is always available. Should you require a telephone, follow the directions on the roadside marker posts
  • If you use your mobile, dial 112 or 999 to contact the emergency services

Further information

You can learn more about the FRC Intelligent Transport System from the M9 bus lane leaflet and the M9 ITS leaflet.

To plan your journey with real-time traffic information go to Traffic Scotland.