Cloud-based video system enforcing bus lanes in Durham

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One of the UK’s leading providers of video-based intelligent traffic enforcement and management systems, Videalert, is deploying a bus lane monitoring system in Durham, with the company also announcing that its bike-based enforcement platform has received UK Type Approval.

Durham County Council (DCC) is installing a new automated Videalert enforcement system to crack down on bus lane contraventions in Durham City. The council has taken over responsibility for the enforcement of bus lanes from Durham Constabulary and has deployed cameras as part of an ongoing contract with public services provider NSL in response to complaints about contraventions from local councillors, residents, bus companies, taxi drivers and the Durham Licenced Taxi Association. Videalert has installed the latest ONVIF-compliant HD ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) cameras that deliver the highest quality images. Capture rates are further enhanced by combining ALPR and video analytics to identify only the vehicles that are actually committing offences. The system also allows the use of a whitelist of vehicles that can legitimately use the gates including buses, emergency services, and maintenance fleets.

Captured evidence packs are stored on Videalert’s hosted Digital Video Platform (DVP) 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 (PCNs). The DVP 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 council has stated that all money raised through the charges will be invested back into managing the road network in County Durham.

“The cameras have been installed to reduce the incidence of drivers breaching bus lane restrictions and increase the speed and reliability of the local bus network,” explained Kieron Moralee, DCC’s parking and transport infrastructure team leader. “This measure will also impact on traffic flows, making the streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Videalert has announced that its range of bike-based Mobile Enforcement Vehicles (MEV-Bike) is the first in the UK to achieve full Manufacturers Certification for both parking and traffic applications, providing councils with a wider choice of vehicles to choose from. It is now the only manufacturer with the ability to offer a bike-based enforcement platform that can operate under Traffic Management Act legislation. The MEV-Bikes offer a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional car-based platforms and, with the additional benefit that they will not suffer from the normal urban-related traffic congestion issues.

The company’s range of MEV-Bikes includes both petrol and electric-powered models that enable councils to visibly demonstrate their commitment to meeting clean air targets. Each bike is fitted with two dual-camera units, comprising both an ALPR and a colour camera that captures contextual video evidence. The ONVIF-compliant HD cameras are fitted with one facing forward and one facing to the rear to achieve industry-leading capture rates of up to 93% with just a single pass at normal road speeds, increasing productivity and reducing the total cost of ownership. The on-board systems are self-powered, something that is particularly important when fitted to electric MEV-Bikes, and are totally automatic, requiring no manual operation from the rider.

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.

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