Portsmouth, on the third most heavily-populated island in the British Isles, like many other cities around the world is struggling with traffic congestion.This cost society billions annually in travel times and fuel consumption, and the environment in increasing CO2 emissions. So the traffic tormented city has turned to new technology from Danish BLIP Systems, a leading provider of wireless traffic management solutions, to fight the pile up of more and more cars in and around the city´s already congested roads. With the help of BLIP Systems´ UK partner Smart CCTV, Portsmouth City Council has placed small BlipTrack sensors on the three most often-congested roads for links to the mainland and the M27/A27 east-west corridor. The sensors measure journey times and speeds, and with this data in hand, the council will be able to warn drivers about queue on VMS displays, through mobile Apps and more. It also provides the city with valuable information about flow, which is useful for planning and optimising traffic.

The installation of the BlipTrack sensors covering the 12 cross-city routes is about 1/10 the cost of an ANPR ( Automatic Number Plate Recognition ) camera solution, ITS UK members were told at their autumn local government conference. Smart CCTV Managing Director Nick Hewitson told delegates: “BlipTrack catches upwards of 40% of vehicles, compared with 95% with ANPR. But this is statistically more than adequate for journey time information”.

Depending on driver feedback, the council is considering rolling out the system more widely, said Project Manager Lee Gilbert at the conference. The solution could also boost the city´s contribution to the Hampshire/Southampton/Portsmouth ROMANCE Traffic and Travel Information Service. Meanwhile Smart CCTV, which is working on several other local authority deployments, is working on an mobile App for drivers.