Wolverhampton – First Traffic Lights

I must admit, with some shame, to finding this quite interesting, namely that Wolverhampton had the first set of automated traffic lights in the country. They were strung across on wire, similar to how many are installed in the United States, at Princes Square in November 1927. It was done as a little bit of a trial, but the situation was made permanent in October 1928 as it was viewed to be a success.

The local newspaper reported the unveiling and explained:

“A device for traffic control by means of a lantern, known as the colour daylight signal, was demonstrated in Wolverhampton on Saturday. It is the first of its kind in this country, though a similar arrangement is used extensively in America and on the continent. The big claim made for the device is that it will eventually eliminate the point duty policeman. The apparatus consists of an aluminium lantern containing three lights, on each of the four sides are three coloured glass panels. The top light is red and is marked “stop”, the second yellow and is marked “caution” and the third is green and marked “go”. The beam of light is visible at a distance of 600 yards”.

The traffic lights remained in place until the 1960s when a modern system was introduced. This is that junction today, still with a traffic light set-up.