The Port of Dover has implemented BlipTrack sensors to help it predict traffic and control vehicle movement on the A20 coast road and within the port itself. Europe’s busiest ferry port suffers from traffic bottlenecks, so the aim is try and predict potential congestion in the approaches to the port and find ways to reduce it.
The technology from Denmark’s BLIP Systems is installed at key locations within the port. 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.
The sensors work by detecting anonymous signals from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices which are in ‘discoverable’ mode - giving traffic controllers a general picture of how smoothly the devices (and the vehicles they are in) are moving through the port.
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.”
The combined measures are already helping to reduce bottlenecks outside the port – easing the impact this crucial national and international sea route has on communities living nearby.