Why do we need Traffic Management [TM] in Ireland.
Traffic Management [TM] is the term used to describe the management of an existing road network and its users to maximise safety, performance, and dependability. Whether you are a road construction professional, traffic engineer, or someone interested in understanding temporary traffic measures it is essential that you are aware of the laws that apply.
The regulation of TM can be found primarily in two pieces of legislation, The Safety, Health, and Welfare Act [Construction] Regulations (2013) and the Traffic Signs Manual (2019). There are also several other Acts that contain affect TM such as, the Road Traffic Acts and the Safety, Health, and Welfare Act (2005).
Whenever work is conducted on a public road (including the footpath and verges), arrangements have to be made for TM and a Temporary Traffic Management Plan [TTMP] produced by a competent TM Designer. Before implementing temporary traffic measures, a comprehensive risk assessment and planning process and Site Survey Risk Assessment [SSRA] must be conducted by a competent person which is a requirement of the Construction Regulations. The SSRA covers aspects such as traffic flow analysis, speed management, traffic control methods, and road layout modifications.
The person responsible for setting out the TM must hold a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme [CSCS], Signing, Lighting, and Guarding [SLG] card which is obtained by successfully completing a SOLAS 3-day Training Course. The SLG course qualifies the successful candidate as a Temporary Traffic Operations Supervisor [TTOS] as defined in the Construction Regulations. This course trains the Supervisor in the Safe System of Work Plan [SWWP] for implementing traffic control systems. Implementing and managing temporary traffic control operations require coordination, communication, and skilled personnel to manage lane closures, detours, flagging operations, and work zone setups to maintain efficient traffic flow, minimising delays, and ensuring the safety of all road users and road workers.
The TTMP is a comprehensive set documents analysing all associated elements and risks that may affect the works must contain a Temporary Traffic Management Layout Drawing, Risk Assessment, and Method Statement [RAMS]. The objective of the TMP is to, by using up-to-date safety design principles and compliance with relevant legislation, optimise road area allocation ensuring, as far as is possible, the efficient flow of traffic and pedestrians whilst protecting vulnerable road users.
Managing the road during construction works is an intricate job involving numerous issues consisting of:
- Maintaining roadway safety.
- Managing commuter, bus, freight, and tourist movement.
- Consideration for all transport options, including cycling, walking and vehicle management.
To continuously improve temporary traffic management practices, monitoring and evaluation are essential. The Traffic Signs Manual [TSM] (2019) states the recommended frequency that safety audits should be conducted.
Advancements in technology have greatly influenced temporary traffic management with intelligent transportation systems, real-time traffic monitoring, and automated flagging devices, which enhance safety, efficiency, and data-driven decision-making in temporary traffic management.
To summarise …
All persons involved in TM must be competent and have the appropriate training, knowledge, and experience to perform their role, for this reason it is essential that contractors employ the services of dedicated TM professionals to design and implement the TTMP. The control and regulation of this industry is increasing and therefore it is vital to keep up to date with these developments and new technology and you can rely on the CHM Group to keep you informed of these developments.