Over 100 smart traffic lights are expected to be rolled out across Nicosia and Limassol according Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades. The project is slated to cost €7.2 million plus tax and will be co-funded by the EU’s Thalia 2021 – 2027 programme.

In an interview on Monday with Philenews, the minister said there would be at least 125 points in the two cities where the smart traffic lights would be implemented as part of a new urban traffic control system.

“We are moving away from the existing system, under which there was a specific and fixed time for green and red lights. Now, with the smart lights, the timing will be rescheduled based on the road conditions at any given time.

“For example, if at an intersection there are cars waiting on the side of the road where the red light is on, but the road is empty on the green light, then, the smart lights will make the appropriate change to regulate traffic,” the minister said.

There will be 75 smart traffic lights in in Nicosia and 50 in Limassol, with the possibility to connect with up to 500 across the country.

Cameras will be placed at certain points of road networks with sensors that will be evaluated in real time and give the equipment ‘instructions’ on how the smart traffic lights should operate, Vafeades explained.

As such, the smart lights will ‘communicate’ with each other and self-regulate.

The minister added there will also be an operations centre where someone will have oversight over the systems and can also assess if there is traffic if an ambulance is trying to get through or if there has been an accident. “It is a project which will be implemented soon. The tender is being prepared.”

Sensors will also be able to prioritise buses on bus lanes, and similar adjustments can be made for ambulances, and firefighting trucks so that they only find green traffic lights on their way.