This week, I made a return visit to the biennial highways industry trade show, Traffex, which for someone like me is always a geek out.
In previous years, the show had a distinct split between the companies promoting their products and companies promoting technology and as ever, this was the case this year with plenty of kit on show.
There was the chance to get up close and personal with some of the things we can see each day on our streets (and understand how they work) as well as the more unusual items such as roadworks lorries with crash cushions which you never get the chance to have a good look around.
There were lots of bollards and other products on show and at least for cycling, there were some mini-mock ups of protected cycle lanes using bolt-down units for quick roll out as shown by Rosehill Highways below;
There was an impressive stand from HS Roads who were showcasing safety barriers and vehicle restraint systems, including a steel bridge parapet system clad to resemble brick. This was interesting because brick parapets are notoriously bad at restraining impacts from large vehicles, but they are often in urban settings which need a different visual treatment than motorways.
On the technology side, there was lots of systems using ANPR and vehicle recognition to automate enforcement of moving traffic contraventions such as the rolling video from Videalert showing people ignoring banned turns;
The new component this year was the subject of mobility and what the future might look like with stands showing off hydrogen fuel cell works vehicles, autonomous vehicle systems and lots and lots of very advanced technology.
However, it’s not about ‘stuff’, there needs to be thinking behind it and so it was a pleasure to be a guinea pig in a round of Mobility Lab UK‘s Mobility Scenario Game where I was role playing as a single parent taking direct action to stop CO2 emissions within 5 years.
The game provides a challenge, gives you a character and how you are going to meet the challenge. You then pitch your solution to the games master to see who is going to win the round. A bit of fun with a serious message!