Interested in improving and innovating their traffic data collection methods, Gloucestershire County Council wanted to implement a lead edge system that would decrease the time required for staff to collect traffic data and improve turnaround time on getting data to the end user, directly impacting the cost structure and engineering efficacy.
Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) is located in South West England and has a population of approximately 600,000. Within the county, there are six districts: Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest, Gloucester, Stroud, and Tewkesbury. On an annual basis, about 60-90 studies are conducted including Junction Counts and Link Counts.
GCC’s existing survey methods depended on custom built cameras that had a long and complicated setup and that were prone to malfunction during the recording process. Once the survey was complete the video would be mailed out to external contractors who analysed the footage, compiled the reports and sent the results back to GCC.
The process would break down again during larger projects and during peak surveying periods. Deadlines would be missed and GCC staff wasted time chasing the analysis. GCC’s customers wouldn’t always receive their results by the required deadline and it became increasingly difficult to balance resources which impacted other projects.
GCC’s goal was to implement a new, fully automated process that would provide accurate data through innovative technology, and that would be easier to manage than their existing solution. Rationalising the survey process by switching to one technology platform would also provide gains over employing multiple contractors. The evaluation criteria were as follows:
- Must provide accurate data and vehicle classifications (Car, LGV, OGV1, OGV2, Bus)
- Employ standardised collection methodology without multiple contractors involved
- Reduce overall data collection costs including staff counting, management hours and per count costs
- Decrease turnaround time of study results
‘”The Miovision System currently saves an average of 20% in direct costs when compared to our previous video survey methods. To put this in perspective, this 20% saving is measured against our 2009-10 video methods which already saved approx 40% against manually counting traffic in Gloucestershire.”‘ Duncan Jamieson Transport Monitoring Team Leader
Miovision’s Scout Video Collection Units were able to minimise setup time significantly and eliminate any technical failures that were previously experienced. Having “more robust and refined units”, as Duncan Jamieson from Gloucestershire County Council quoted, GCC became able to upload the footage directly and submit it immediately for processing.
This simple but effective technology decreased the total processing time by 85%. As a result of faster turnaround time, GCC is able to complete more surveys in a shorter amount of time. This is crucial for government organizations where budget cuts and decreased headcount are frequent operating environments. It furthermore enables departments to deliver a bigger survey program within a shorter timescale and at a lower cost than previously possible.
‘”The Miovision System currently saves an average of 20% in direct costs when compared to our previous video survey methods. To put this in perspective, this 20% saving is measured against our 2009-10 video methods which already saved approximately 40% against manually counting traffic in Gloucestershire.”‘ Duncan Jamieson
GCC saving 20% in direct costs means a saving on man hours and unnecessary contractor costs, and the easy to deploy cameras allowed GCC to allocate time to more value-added tasks such as completing more traffic surveys.
GCC was also able to take advantage of Miovision’s online web portal TrafficDataOnline.com (TDO), to store all of their data securely online and download their reports in a variety of industry standard formats. This allowed the Council to access their data at any time without having to refer back to the contractors who performed the analysis and TDO also offers the capability of data sharing with customers and stakeholders via the portal.
“Apart from the cost savings outlined above, the biggest benefit perhaps for a small survey team is we can now be very clear with our customers (the public, consultants, and internal stakeholders) when results will be available. We can now have results back to customers within 3-4days of a survey as standard, but also give them the option at a slightly higher cost for a 24hr processing time. This has been very well received, as we’re now talking in days and hours, rather than weeks.”‘ Duncan Jamieson
Gloucestershire County Council needed an innovative automated solution for their traffic studies that was accurate, easy to deploy and operate. By using Miovision’s Scout Video Collection System and automated analysis software, GCC was able to:
- Reduce complications and setup time resulting in fewer recounts and more studies
- Standardised data collection methodology eliminating complexity of managing multiple contractors and formats
- Decrease data analysis turnaround by 85% – data received within 72 hours of collection instead of several weeks waiting
- Quickly access all video files, data files and project information through TrafficDataOnline.com
Saving time on studies also decreased Gloucestershire County Council overall data collection costs including time and labour by 20%.