Traffic Technology’s innovative counters deliver cycling and walking data in Leicester


Leicester City Council (LCC) has installed pedestrian and cycle counters from UK company Traffic Technology Ltd (TTL) to monitor and record the numbers of people walking or cycling in eight locations around the city as part of a sustainable transport initiative.

The Council has installed the new counters as part of the UK Department for Transport’s (DfT) Access Fund for Sustainable Transport initiative. Launched by the government in 2015, the Access Fund will allocate £60m (US$81m) between 2017-2020 to support local authorities aiming to boost cycling and walking to gain access to work and education, while reducing the public’s reliance on road transport and resulting vehicle emissions. The counters, which monitor cyclists and pedestrians as they pass each count site, will help LCC to monitor the effectiveness of the sustainable mobility initiative.

Housed within aesthetic urban posts, the TTL counters are all multi-mode, which accurately distinguish between pedestrians and cycles on a single path and determine their direction of travel. The system uses TTL’s Pyro Post, which is designed to hide the datalogger, battery pack, modem, and Pyro infrared sensor that uses the heat generated by the human body to accurately count pedestrians, even if they are close together. Cyclists are detected by a specially shaped Zelt electromagnetic induction loop that recognizes the unique signature of bicycle wheels.

The Eco Multi datalogger can distinguish between different types of users on a single path and determine their direction. Up to 16 different sensors can be connected to a single logger, or eight per direction if directional data breakdown is required. A specific algorithm separately analyzes each type of movement on each connected sensor and triggers the corresponding count. Bicycles will only be counted by the Zelt loop and ignored by the Pyro, and vice versa.

“The data collected by the counters will be used in the Council’s reports to the Department for Transport, and will help provide evidence for future funding bids for cycling and walking initiatives,” noted Robert Bateman of LCC. He commented, “The counters give accurate data on foot and cycle traffic, which would otherwise be difficult and time-consuming to get if done manually.”

TTL’s managing director, Richard Toomey, commented, “The Eco Multi provides accurate data in all weather conditions, enabling planners to prepare reports on individual routes, whether they are used by pedestrians, cyclists or horse-riders, or a combination of all three.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier 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).