Oxfordshire County Council has upgraded its bus lane enforcement system with the installation of a new automated platform from Videalert. The new system replaces a manually operated network of cameras and has been installed to reduce journey times and improve air quality in and around the City of Oxford. The move to the new camera system was announced in October 2019 and the go-live date of 15th June was identified to support the increase in cyclists expected as more people are able to move around as the lockdown eases, as well as protect bus journeys for those who need to use public transport.

According to County Councillor Liam Walker, Cabinet member for highway operation and delivery: “ANPR is more efficient and allows greater flexibility to review potential contraventions after the event. As we start to see lockdown being freed up we want to see more people switching to sustainable transport – cycling, walking and public transport are all preferable to driving for so many people. The council is working hard to ensure that Oxfordshire’s transport system is ready to meet the demands of more people starting to get out and about, and the new cameras will play a small part in that.”

The new locations for camera enforcement are Folly Bridge, Abingdon Road and Barton Park. Existing bus gates already enforced where new cameras have been installed are High Street, George Street, Castle Street and Magdalen Street. Signs have been in place for many years to warn motorists about the existing bus gates and, for a period, the new sites have additional signage to draw attention to the new enforcement.

Videalert uses the latest ONVIF-compliant HD ANPR cameras that deliver higher quality images to improve capture rates for contraventions. This is enhanced by combining ANPR and video analytics to identify only the vehicles that are actually committing offences. The system further allows the use of a whitelist of vehicles that can legitimately use the gates including buses, emergency vehicles and maintenance vehicles. The high quality images captured with Videalert’s HD cameras will also help to minimise discard-rates and reduce the number of appeals.

Captured evidence packs are transmitted and stored on Videalert’s hosted digital video platform where they can be accessed and reviewed securely over the internet. Validated evidence packs are sent to the council’s back office system to issue penalty charge notices (PCN). Videalert’s flexible hosted platform makes it a quick and cost effective process to deploy enforcement as it does not require the installation of any IT at the council’s offices.

The new system will deliver significantly higher productivity than older cameras with uptime rates of more than 99%. This is achieved using Videalert’s robust hosted infrastructure and proactive remote monitoring software for early identification of potential faults.

Videalert added: “Videalert continues to be focused on delivering innovative traffic enforcement solutions which are proven to provide the highest productivity and the lowest operating costs whilst, at the same time, minimising equipment infrastructure and communication costs at each target enforcement location.”

The government has published the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General (Amendment) Regulations 2020. This amendment, which comes into force on 22nd June 2020, allows mandatory cycle lanes to be enforced by an approved device. It gives councils in England new powers to use CCTV to issue penalty charge notices to drivers who park or load illegally in these cycle lanes, putting cyclists at risk of a serious accident.

Videalert is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of intelligent traffic management and enforcement solutions. It is also the only company able to provide its own suite of attended, unattended and Mobile Vehicle CCTV enforcement solutions using the same intelligent digital video software platform. Existing Videalert clients can add this new cycle lane application to the platform in short timescales.

Videalert’s hosted solution is DfT Manufacturer Certified and eliminates the need for councils to procure and deploy any equipment within their IT infrastructures or install software on local PCs for evidence pack review. It enables councils to rapidly deploy systems to enforce the new cycle lanes at the same time as the full range of moving traffic offences, Clean Air and Low Emission zones and keep clears outside schools without needing a major IT infrastructure project.

As part of the Marston Holdings group, which includes NSL and Project Centre, Videalert systems can be specified as part of a wider range of design, build and enforce solutions which include a number of transportation and enforcement services.

Videalert, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of intelligent traffic management and enforcement solutions, has achieved Approved Devices certification from Transport Scotland for the deployment of its hosted digital video platform to enforce bus lanes. As one of the only manufacturers to have achieved this certification, Videalert’s hosted platform provides local authorities across Scotland with a quicker and easier way to implement unattended CCTV enforcement of bus lanes to speed up journey times and encourage people to use public transport.

According to Videalert: “Videalert’s hosted enforcement solution enables councils to meet their compliance objectives by delivering a consistently higher level of performance and availability at a significantly lower cost than traditional systems. Importantly, the flexible hosted platform makes it a quick and cost effective process to deploy CCTV enforcement as it does not require the installation of any IT at council offices.”

Videalert’s digital video platform provides councils with unrivalled flexibility as it supports multiple civil traffic enforcement, traffic management, community safety and clean air zone applications from a single CCTV infrastructure. It has an open architecture and can be integrated in any environment and offers high levels of future proofing and additional camera assets and enforcement applications can be cost effectively added as required. The system is also used as a front end by most of the leading providers of back office PCN processing systems.

“Videalert is part of the wider Marston Holdings group which offers a comprehensive range of design, build and enforce solutions which include a number of transportation and enforcement services,” continued Videalert. “This hosted video platform offers 99% uptime with increased productivity, which is generating significant interest from councils wanting to replace legacy systems and cost effectively extend enforcement to further improve compliance.”