When I'm driving in Plymouth (and I do that a lot, as I'm a taxi driver), there is only one thing that saddens me more than seeing blue f*cking PRIUSES and GROWN MEN in TIGHT PANTS on push bikes. Yes, I'm talking about traffic lights. And there are plenty of them in Plymouth, some of them in the most awkward and idiotic of places. Like roundabouts..
But, apart from my frustration with traffic lights, there is a much bigger problem. You see, sometimes I do the night shift, and driving at night through Plymouth is much better than driving in the daytime, simply because of the volume of traffic. But it is far from being as good as it can. Most times, you're just sat at a junction, staring at a red light when there's nothing coming the other way. Although most traffic lights in Plymout have the necessary sensors and systems to turn to green when a car is approaching and there's nothing coming the other way, most of them have this option turned OFF.
Now, this might not seem like such a big issue, as you would think there is little traffic at night anyway, so they might as well wait. Well, while I was waiting for a red light to turn green, around 3 am, I thought I should investigate if this is the case. After a little research, I found that ALMOST ALL DELIVERIES in any city, including Plymouth, are made at night. It makes sense, considering they can pretty much park big lorries anywhere at 3 am. Digging a little deeper, I found case studies (check sources below) that prove bad traffic lights can increase travelling time from 15 to 25%, depending on the road layout. This also comes with a 15 to 25% increase in fuel consumption. "Oh well!" you're going to say, but that means that YOU ARE PAYING, on average, about 20% MORE for EVERYTHING you buy. Plus, you inhale 20% more toxic gas than you need to. Not to mention your taxi is 20% more expensive (!).
Now, Plymouth is in bad shape already, but thanks to a ridiculously BAD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT team, that takes the worst decisions for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike, we are AT LEAST 20% worse off than we could be. We're in 2018 and 2019 is knocking on our door and we can't get some bloody traffic light sorted ? FFS COME ON, PLYMOUTH !!
Case study sources (external links):