The Port of Dover has turned to a raft of futuristic BlipTrack sensors to keep billions of pounds of trade and millions of passengers on the move.
For over four hundred years, the Port of Dover has been one of the most important passenger and cargo-handling points in the United Kingdom. With over sixteen million people and over five million vehicles passing through this port every year, making sure everyone and everything gets through quickly and safely is a priority for the Dover Harbour Board. The Port of Dover, is critical to Britain's infrastructure, handling almost one-fifth of all goods imported and exported by the UK, both by road and by sea and hosting more than twenty-five different cruise lines. It also welcomes nearly three million passenger vehicles every year.
All this activity takes place in a port that’s only around one square mile in size, most of which is water, and that is located within the town of Dover - all of which spells potential congestion-related disasters. When traffic stops flowing, and queues start to form, it has a significant impact on the economy, businesses, environment, tourism, and the local community. The cliff-fringed port continually battles congestion and delays due to ever-increasing port usage, combined with rough sea conditions. To complicate matters further, expansion is limited due to the geography of the area, effectively forcing the port to find innovative methods to help reduce bottlenecks and smooth traffic flow.
To obtain vital in-depth insights into road density, flow and formation of queues, controllers at Europe’s busiest ferry port have installed BlipTrack technology to help reduce bottlenecks and improve vehicle movements by predicting potential traffic congestion on Dover’s coast bound A20.
Through this raft of strategically placed sensors, it gives port managers a live overview of the how traffic is behaving at several stages, from in the city, through to inside the port area, and for each of the ferry operators. It feeds officers with live data throughout the boarding process, not only helping them ensure traffic flows but also flagging-up trouble spots and times when queues are in danger of forming.
Tim Godden, the Port of Dover’s General Manager of Strategy and Risk Management, said: “BlipTrack has been an extremely useful tool in the months since its implementation. It has helped us get a better understanding of the dynamic traffic system and provides quantifiable data to support the improvement measures we’re making to traffic flows. This will allow us to continue to provide a world-class service to our customers and community by efficiently managing traffic flows in and out of the port, and reduce traffic congestion around the town.”
The new system is being used in conjunction with the successful Dover TAP (Traffic Assessment Project) – a freight management measure which holds port-bound lorries outside the town on the A20 to prevent queuing in central Dover during busy periods.
Highways England asset manager for Kent, Kevin Bown, said: “Working collaboratively with partners like the Port of Dover, we aim to help keep Kent’s roads moving and its economy growing. It’s great to see the port using innovative technology like this to help manage traffic arriving at Dover in the best way possible.”
Peter Knudsen, chief executive at BlipTrack, Veovo, said: ”Efficient traffic management is vital to a secure, smooth port operation, with ferries and goods leaving and off-loading on time. It helps to keep citizens, road users and passengers happy, and also helps reduce the environmental impact with fewer car emissions, thanks to more uniform travel with fewer start-and-stops. We are happy to be able to provide Port of Dover with operational data that can be used to optimize processes to the benefit of both the port and the passengers.
Besides smoothening traffic flow at Port of Dover, the solution is employed in optimisation efforts in the cities of Portsmouth, Bangkok, Zürich, Stockholm, Copenhagen and a host of others. Several UK airports are also reaping the benefits of the BlipTrack technology, including Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh, and internationally it streamlines passenger flow at Dublin, Amsterdam Schiphol and JFK in New York. In recent years, it has been rolled out at Clapham Junction Railway Station in the UK, ski resorts in the US, amusement parks in Denmark and at events all over the world.
“With BlipTrack we are able to measure the capacity and traffic flow in real-time in and around the area. This allows us to take proactive steps to initiate countermeasures if traffic build-up should occur. It also helps us to understand various traffic-related matters, enabling us to evaluate and validate existing traffic models and make informed decisions about where to prioritise expansions and optimisations to help the daily commute.”
Traffic Analyst at Trafik Stockholm
“It gives us insights on how individual journeys can differ from each other, especially when traffic lights are involved. The ability to measure travel times over long stretches of road, with various queue lengths, and only looking at specific route choices, is another strength of the BlipTrack solution.”
CEO of Trafik Stockholm
“BlipTrack helps Thai citizens to travel home faster during two major traffic events: Songkran and New Year holidays. The system allowed not only road users to decide route choices via travel time info online but also the Thai Highway Police to manage traffic in real-time.”
Dr. Songrit Chayanan
Director of Samut Sakhon Highway District.
“With BlipTrack, we can discover errors and irregularities that we would not have a chance to see otherwise. In addition, it is extremely educational and easily accessible to study how the incidents of various kinds influence the road network.”
Project Manager at Aarhus Municipality
“The solution helps improve service levels for the municipality commuters. The real-time information allows drivers to make informed route choices that ultimately distribute traffic and increases the operational performance of the road network.”
Anders Kruse Christiansen
Project Manager at Aarhus Municipality
“Portsmouth has benefited from the accurate data from the BlipTrack installations with a much-improved understanding of journey times within the city of Portsmouth. We consider that the ease of extracting traffic data from BlipTrack is significant to see how time savings are achieved. Selecting the required route, date, time, etc. is very straightforward and simple to understand.”
Traffic Engineer at Portsmouth City Council
“The solution has helped us get a better understanding of the dynamic traffic system and provides quantifiable data to support the improvement measures to traffic flows. It allows us to provide a world-class service to our customers and community by efficiently managing traffic flows in and out of the port.” Read more.
General Manager of Strategy and Risk Management at Port of Dover
“BlipTrack provides the Aalborg City Business Association with an in-depth understanding on how people move within the city and measures the economic impact of events. The data allow us to analyze, optimize and improve large-scale events”. Read more
Director of Aalborg City Business Association
BlipTrack provides our clients with an unparalleled range of traffic information. Using the same data, we can provide live travel times direct to signs and phones, identify incidents and delays through to understanding the strategic route choices, origin/destination and changing travel patterns. Read more
Associate at BECA
“BlipTrack give us a unique opportunity to deliver new logistics solutions for the benefit of our customers”. Read more
Chief Technical Officer for the Port of Aalborg