Lancashire County Council wanted to standardise on a single multipurpose platform for the enforcement of bus lanes throughout the county as part of a commitment to improve travel for people using public transport. It also wanted to ensure that the new system offered the flexibility to support additional traffic management and enforcement applications as well as delivering a consistently higher performance than could be achieved with the existing cameras.
Marston Holdings group companies Videalert and NSL were selected to deliver a hosted CCTV enforcement platform that would deliver 99% uptime with increased productivity. This digital video platform would provide the council with the ability to manage multiple traffic management and enforcement applications including clean air and low emission zones using the same infrastructure.
Peter Bell, parking and regulation manager at Lancashire County Council, said: “The single platform approach, coupled with significant uptime demands, meant that our old cameras were seriously impacting on the effectiveness of our bus lane and ongoing parking enforcement strategy. The Videalert system enables us to meet our compliance objectives by delivering a consistently higher level of performance, as well as providing the highest availability. The platform also delivers better value as future- proofing is built-in and additional camera assets and enforcement applications can be cost effectively added as required.”
The council initially installed Videalert bus lane cameras in 15 locations in Preston, Burnley and Lancaster. The ONVIF-compliant, digital HD cameras went ‘live’ in December 2019 and capture high quality images to minimise discard-rates, increase productivity and help reduce the number of appeals.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, commented: “The bus lanes are there to give priority for buses, and enforcing them helps to ensure that everyone follows the rules and the system works as it should. I hope that we don’t make a penny from penalty notices once the cameras are working, as it will mean that people aren’t abusing the bus lanes.”
The council has a strategy to roll out the new system to the other locations. It is also considering other applications, including red routes and Mobile Enforcement Vehicles, to add to Videalert’s digital video platform, which can simultaneously support multiple traffic management and enforcement applications using the same infrastructure.
According to Mark Hoskin, Business Development Director at Marston Holdings Ltd: “The award of this contract demonstrates how Videalert and NSL can jointly deliver complete solutions that streamline every aspect of the traffic and parking management process from enforcement and PCN processing through to collections. This unique, integrated approach helps increase efficiency and maximise compliance in short timeframes.”
Captured evidence packs are stored on Videalert’s hosted digital video platform 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 (PCN). Videalert’s flexible hosted platform 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.
This contract is a continuation of a general trend whereby Videalert’s enhanced performance and functionality is causing local authorities to re-evaluate what represents best value. As a result, the company has been particularly successful in replacing an increasing number of legacy systems and enabling councils to extend enforcement to further improve compliance without incurring major additional capital expenditure.