Traffic Lights

Traffic lights not working? Report it!

We have a monitoring process in place for identifying faults in the system but we always appreciate a call to tell us about any faults. When you report a fault please let us know the direction you were travelling and both of the roads names at the intersection.

Getting the traffic lights to go green

Most traffic lights in New Plymouth can detect waiting scooters, bicycles and motorbikes. 

The detector loops beneath the road surface work on magnetic fields not weight, so even a bicycle should be picked up and trigger a lights change if they stop in the right place.

The area where the large box is drawn is where cars should stop, but the small box is the ideal spot for lighter vehicles.

Note that the scooter rider in this picture has stopped too far forward to prompt the traffic lights to change – always stop behind the painted lines at an intersection.

(Cyclists who want to trigger the dedicated cycling traffic lights phase at the Liardet/Molesworth intersection should stop on the painted cycle lane on Liardet Street, or press the button on the north-eastern corner of the intersection.)

What traffic lights do we look after?

We manage the traffic lights in the district, including the ones on the state highway network which we undertake on behalf of the NZ Transport Agency.

New Plymouth has 24 sets of traffic lights. Twenty at intersections and four pedestrian crossings. Nineteen are on state highways and five on local roads. The oldest set of lights is on the Eliot / Devon intersection which was commissioned in February 1961.

Twenty-two of the lights are controlled by an intelligent transport system called SCATS (Sydney Computer Adaptive Traffic Signals).
The SCATS computer gathers information through detector loops in the road at each intersection, which it uses to monitor traffic flows and to adjust the amount of green time given to each traffic movement. It also carries out other management initiatives such as traffic signal co-ordination between intersections.

The traffic lights use LED lights for:

  • Better visibility for approaching motorists.
  • Longer lamp life—resulting in less blown bulbs requiring maintenance.
  • Reduced power consumption.