The TMC is responsible for developing and co-ordinating traffic lights and bus priority systems to maximise the safety and efficiency of the road network.
Sydney's first traffic lights were installed at the intersection of Market and Kent streets and switched on at 11am on Friday 13 October 1933. The first audio signals for blind pedestrians installed in 1967. Now there are over 3,700 sets of traffic lights across NSW.
Real-time traffic management
Sydney Co-ordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) was developed by Roads and Maritime Services in the 1970s to enable Roads and Maritime Services to control and co-ordinate traffic across NSW in real-time. SCATS now manages, monitors and co-ordinates over 3,700 intersections in NSW. Roads and Maritime Services still owns, maintains and continually improves the SCATS software for the benefit of the NSW public and many SCATS users world wide.
SCATS is able to react to changing traffic conditions in real-time by adjusting the timing and co-ordination of each traffic light cycle. Traffic flow and volume are measured at each intersection by sensors embedded in the road, after which the SCATS computers analyse this information, calculate the best possible light timings, co-ordinate intersections and adjust the signal times accordingly.
SCATS can also operate in isolated mode if necessary. In this mode, the system generates an automatic alert if problems occur. Roads and Maritime Services' operators are able to manually override the automatic operation when required.
SCATS has been recognised internationally as one of the best adaptive traffic systems and Roads and Maritime Services sells the software to road agencies around the world. For information on the distribution of SCATS visit www.scats.com.au
Green Light Corridors
In special situations Roads and Maritime Services' Transport Management Centre creates a Green Light Corridor (GLC) - a synchronised traffic light system that allows a vehicle to proceed uninterrupted on its journey. Such corridors are usually arranged in advance but in emergency or life threatening situations (such as organ delivery), Green Light Corridors are set up immediately. Examples of recent GLCs include VIP visits such as the APEC conference, the Pope's visit for World Youth Day and a baby giraffe delivery to Taronga Zoo.