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Software crashes London traffic lights

Central London traffic ground to a halt during the Wednesday morning rush hour after a computer system failed when engineers attempted to alter its software. Thousands of drivers were trapped in their cars, according to city authority Transport for London(TfL), with the worst hit areas reported to be around Trafalgar Square.

The problem occurred at 6.15 a.m. as engineers attempted to upload a new set of rules for how the Split Cycle and Offset Optimization Technique (SCOOT) traffic-light control system phases the lights across London, TfL said. The complex rules crashed part of the computer system, causing about 800 traffic lights to crash out of coordination. The glitch was fixed by 8.30 a.m., but by midmorning traffic had still barely begun moving.

ZDNet U.K.'s Matthew Broersma reported from London.

To read the full story, visit ZDNet U.K.