Making the planning of street works safer and more efficient
- The planning necessary to carry out safe network maintenance operations currently relies upon specialist knowledge and experience, and site-based discussions between several parties. This process can require multiple site visits, creating time delays in decision-making for traffic management plans.
- Demonstrating uniform decision-making when planning street works can therefore be a challenge.
- Unforeseen circumstances can create hazards for field workers, cause traffic delays or supply outages to the general public, and result in fines for utilities.
- Automating the creation of traffic management plans for street works would increase efficiency and save costs for utilities.
Including OS data in a traffic management plan prototype
Northern Gas Networks worked with the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) and 1Spatial to build a prototype system using OS data which could automate the creation of traffic management plans for street works. This included encoding industry regulations that would ensure that plans automatically adhere to any relevant rules.
It also identifies any addresses within the affected area to create impact zone notification letters, and shares plans with key stakeholders such as local authorities.
- OS MasterMap Highways Network was used to establish the geometry of roads, along with identifying the unique street reference numbers (USRNs) and road speed limits.
- OS AddressBase was used to identify addresses affected by the planned street works, including addresses that may not be supplied by NGN and high priority addresses such as schools.
- We provided specialist technical support to help NGN and 1Spatial to get the best value from using the OS MasterMap Topography layer throughout the hugely innovative project.
The advantages of business process automation
- End-to-end production of traffic management plans can now be fully automated, adhere to industry regulations and presented in one format accessible to all stakeholders.
- NGN was able to save time and costs caused by involving third parties, completing multiple site visits and the back-office work previously necessary to create traffic management plans,by using OS data to find information about the site and surrounding highways network
- Using AddressBase, NGN could also improve efficiency in the planning process by quickly identifying affected and priority addresses
- NGN is implementing this solution across operational activities. 1Spatial is refining the prototype system so that it can be adopted by other utilities and local authorities.