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Traffic lights (urban traffic control)

What does Urban Traffic Control (UTC) service do?

For year’s Walsall Council has operated an Urban Traffic Control system to coordinate and manage the traffic signals throughout Walsall. More recently Walsall has combined this operation with Wolverhampton to form a new shared service “The Black Country Urban Traffic Control Centre” (BCUTC). The BCUTC manages and coordinates the traffic signals on the highway network across Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and parts of Sandwell, as well as the on-street running section of Midland Metro (Line One).

A team of 9 staff deliver the service from a control centre which normally opens 6 days per week, 12 hours per day and in response to specific events affecting the highway. The BCUTC covers approximately 2,650km of highway, controlling over 780 traffic signal installations, including 293 Junctions and 483 pedestrian crossings throughout the Black Country. The network uses over 160 CCTV cameras to monitor the traffic conditions while employing 40 Variable Message Signs to pass information to the travelling public. Direct links with various media stations also assist in disseminating ‘live’ travel information affecting the Black Country roads.

To find out more contact

Interesting fact

The first automated set of traffic lights in the UK was a one day trial on the 5 November 1927 at Princes Square in Wolverhampton by Siemens & general Railway Signal Co. They were so successful that they were permanently installed in October 1928. Today, the junction unusually, has black and white banded poles to commemorate its history.

Did you know?

  • There are over 15,700 sensors that detect and monitor vehicular and pedestrian movements across the network
  • Approximately 13 years of ‘live’ CCTV footage is held at any time
  • Over 4,500 faults are processed each year
  • It is estimated that there is over 430 miles of cable used at the traffic installations in Walsall and Wolverhampton; that’s from Walsall to Belfast and back!

Contact the Urban Traffic Control team.