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Traffic Lights

Volume 400: debated on Tuesday 25 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to introduce traffic lights based on light emitting diodes. [98028]

It is widely recognised that light emitting diode (LED) traffic signals potentially offer good optical performance combined with high reliability and good energy efficiency. A number of LED traffic signals are available for local authorities to purchase and install. Some authorities are installing them, in spite of the significantly higher prices of these signals over conventional filament lamp types. Energy cost savings go some way to offsetting the price difference but there is still a major financial commitment if LED signals are used.LED traffic signals are still relatively new and we expect there to be improvements in their specifications generally, including reliability and power consumption, and lower prices as product designs improve. As a result, authorities may, not unreasonably, be waiting to see these demonstrated before committing to large-scale purchase.As there is a competitive market for light emitting diode signals, with at least five manufacturers supplying them, and in view of the above, I do not believe specific incentives are required to encourage their use.