Bristol City Council has awarded Videalert a major contract to deploy its innovative Digital Video Platform to monitor key routes and provide accurate journey time information to tackle growing congestion across the city. The Videalert system went live in March 2014 and is delivering real-time VRM data to Bristol’s central Urban Traffic Management Control system for traffic modelling and journey time information, as well as to Avon and Somerset Police for crime prevention initiatives and investigations.
The data collected and analysed by the system is providing essential “intelligence” to optimise the design of transport schemes in central Bristol. It also contributes to the Safer Bristol Partnership’s project, which includes the installation of an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera-based network around the city to tackle crime. Avon and Somerset Police and the Safer Bristol Partnership have each contributed £50,000.
According to Duncan Laird, Group Manager – Transportation at Bristol City Council: “We wanted to engage a single supplier to implement a back-office hardware and software solution that would give us the flexibility to support multiple traffic management applications and disseminate information to the council, Avon and Somerset Police and other stakeholders. The Videalert platform is highly scalable, supports our existing analogue cameras and allows us to progressively migrate to a mixed analogue/digital camera environment.”
Videalert added: “We are delighted to have been awarded this high profile project, which extends our proven capabilities in the civil enforcement area to other traffic management and police VRM surveillance applications. With the ever increasing pressure on funding, we anticipate that partnership initiatives of this kind will become more common, maximising the effectiveness of CCTV infrastructure to reduce costs and make our cities safer places to live and work.”
Videalert’s unique Digital Video Platform is an innovative multipoint solution that uses standard off-the-shelf equipment and seamlessly integrates with Bristol City Council’s existing cameras and infrastructure. It will deliver significant cost savings to the council by enabling a wide range of additional traffic management and civil enforcement applications to be deployed, without having to procure multiple legacy point solutions. The system provides the council with the flexibility to enforce moving traffic offences such as bus lanes, banned turns and box junctions, exploiting the digital platform and existing equipment.
“The new system is far more than just another ANPR system and provides us with a cost-effective and reliable way of detecting incidents and relaying the information to the city’s Traffic Control Centre as well as quantifying the value of highway improvements and testing new traffic schemes,” continued Duncan Laird. “The availability of real-time data will enable accurate journey time information to be posted on the Travel West website, helping drivers to avoid areas of congestion. It will also deliver real-time VRM data to the police’s BOFII database, potentially reducing crime.”
The Videalert system integrates with existing roadside cameras and communications infrastructure which transmits analogue video to the council’s CCTV control room over the B-Net optical fibre network. In the first phase of the project, the Videalert platform has been deployed at 15 sites across the city connecting a total of 65 ANPR and Context View cameras. It is expected that coverage will be further extended in the future.