Swarco Traffic to install intelligent flood warning system in UK

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Swarco Traffic has signed a new partnership agreement with England’s North Yorkshire County Council to install an intelligent new flood warning system to divert drivers away from a stretch of the A684 between Bainbridge and Wensley in the North Yorkshire Dales, that is affected by flooding.

As part of its Safer Roads Fund initiative, North Yorkshire County Council aims to reduce the number of incidents caused by the flooded road by providing clearer information on the presence of rising water levels in a more timely manner. The council has selected Swarco, whose main office is located in nearby Richmond, to provide the solution.

The contract will see Swarco install a new flood warning system comprising five intelligent flood detection sensors, that detect when surface water levels rise, and seven full colour matrix RGB signs that indicate flooding and road closures as they occur. The signs will be managed via Swarco’s intelligent cloud-based ZEPHYR solution that enables messages to be set from anywhere at any time, remotely.

A number of the sites will also be solely solar powered, preventing areas from being unnecessarily dug up to feed power to the signs, limiting the disruption and ensuring the equipment fits in with the scenic environment of the National Park.

County councillor Yvonne Peacock, member for the Upper Dales, believes the new system will help inform residents of any potential road closures or disruptions at the earliest opportunity: “Flooding on the A684 is a real problem. The new flood warning system will help to improve the quality of life for local residents and visitors in the area, enabling better planning for travel at the earliest opportunity and to prevent accidents in extreme cases.”

Derek Williamson, head of sales at Swarco Traffic, says the company is proud to support the council with its proven expertise in designing and supplying bespoke and reliable hazard solutions: “Being based in North Yorkshire, we understand the impact flooding can have on the local communities.

“The new automated flood warning system has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the Council and will help to protect drivers and ensure minimal disruption, as well as subtlety to blend with the natural beauty of the National Park.”

The new system is expecting to be fully installed and working by the end of August 2021.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).