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Bristol City Council has successfully rolled out Traffic Light Priority (TLP) across Bristol’s congested roads – giving a simpler solution, reducing overall operational costs and improving bus waiting times at traffic lights.

Icon - The challenge

The Challenge

In the past, Bristol City Council had a lot of expensive traffic light control equipment across the city. They were also paying extra for equipment maintenance. With equipment cost, ongoing cost of maintenance and power costs to run the system too, the whole system and operation was unsustainable.

When the largest bus operator in the city changed all their onboard equipment to a new provider, they could no longer communicate with the existing bus priority signals in place. At the time, Bristol was in need of replacing their traffic control system (UTMC), as the one used was at the end of its lifecycle. Bristol City Council found themselves wanting to switch to a central architecture and a hosted system, and move away from the existing and expensive way of running their traffic light control system.

Icon - The outcome

The Outcome

Bristol City Council knew that Ticketer had provided their TLP solution to other local authorities, with great results, and decided to follow suit. The main bus operators across the city also had the Ticketer ETMs already installed, making the Ticketer TLP solution a natural choice.

With an easy and direct interface, the Ticketer TLP solution helped remove any additional steps Bristol City Council previously had in the process and helped simplify their complete traffic light control system. Their new Ticketer TLP solution also gives sufficient flexibility and allows Bristol to set and refine each junction’s performance, either individually or as part of a network. Their traffic control now operates more smoothly than before and is a lot less time consuming.


Bristol city dates all the way back to 1155, and consists of dense architecture with a large proportion of medieval buildings intact, which are interspersed with a myriad of rivers and canals. The city mainly features single lane streets with few opportunities for new roads to be built, making it highly congested.

To combat the level of traffic and create a smooth road network, Bristol City Council is trying to promote the use of mass transit and public transport to optimise and help the system run as smoothly as it can.

Bristol City Council were initially providing both the equipment that went onboard the bus, as well as the receivers that went on the traffic lights across Bristol city. The operators had requested the TLP functionality be introduced, ensuring that when a bus approaches the traffic lights, if the bus is detected, priority is provided where required.

Operationally, for the council, the live bus data is sent through the normal communications pathway between the lights and the control system, allowing them to control all traffic signals simultaneously, which across Bristol city amounts to around 300 sets of lights. Their centralised intelligent system optimises and balances supply with demand to optimise journey times, which gives 12-15% more capacity to the congested road network.


Through the GPS and real-time vehicle positioning functionality on the Ticketer ETMs onboard the bus, the location of the bus is fed into a Strategic Traffic Light Priority (STLP) platform, requesting traffic light priority via a Central Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) controlled by Bristol City Council. As all the buses in Bristol already had Ticketer ETMs onboard, the Ticketer TLP solution was a clear winner.



By reduced waiting times at traffic lights, Bristol is saving the bus operators valuable fuel and has helped reduce overall operational costs and optimised timetables for passengers.

Improved air quality

Bristol could see an improvement in overall air quality due to less idling at bus stops and traffic lights, and its associated air pollution.

Cost savings

Selecting a TLP solution that did not require any additional on-board equipment, Bristol City Council were able to help the operators leverage the maximum benefits from their kit, whilst reducing power, equipment and maintenance costs compared to their old system. A simpler, cleaner system which is a great budget solution for cash strapped council budgets.

A truly flexible solution

With a traffic light control solution in place that allows Bristol City Council the flexibility to tailor their approach and distribute their traffic light priorities, the shift to Ticketer TLP solution has gone a long way in ensuring a smoother and less time-consuming process.

Some of the things we have won


Received 'Most Innovative Public Transport Technology 2022' award, by the UK Transport Awards.

Winners of the 2022 Euro Bus Expo Innovation Challenge Bronze Award.

Winners of the 'ROSCO Silver Award for Contribution to Safer Driving' 2022

Profit Track 100 2021

Ranked in The Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100, acknowledging the impressive performance and contributions of the featured companies to the economy and society during the pandemic

Transport Ticketing

Winner of the Transport Ticketing Awards 2021 'Digital Champion' Category

Ticketer Award Megabuyte

Listed as 3rd in the Megabuyte Emerging Stars Awards which recognise the top 25 best-performing scale-up Companies of the Year in the UK, for industry-specific software

Ones to Watch award

Named as “One to Watch” in the European Business Awards

Ticketer Award Thames Valley

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year & High Growth Business of the Year

Gold Winner of the Coach and Bus Innovation Challenge 2019 for our passenger app Kazoot

Read more on our press page

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