VPS’ Highways Technology team gain double nomination for Construction Awards

Traffic incursion safety system

VPS UK have land­ed a dou­ble finals place in a pres­ti­gious peer-reviewed con­struc­tion awards event for 2020. Their projects have been short­list­ed in the Best Use of Tech­nol­o­gy cat­e­go­ry, where oth­er nom­i­nees include con­struc­tion giants Kier and con­sul­tants Atkins.

A Traf­fic Incur­sion warn­ing sys­tem is designed to help pro­tect the 4,000 peo­ple who work on the con­struc­tion & repair of our high­ways, often along­side traf­fic mov­ing at high speeds. On aver­age, there are near­ly 200 inci­dents a month of acci­den­tal incur­sions, where dri­vers acci­den­tal­ly enter road­works, and/​or abuse main­te­nance staff.

An inte­grat­ed cam­era, sen­sor, audi­ble and light alarm warn­ing safe­ty sys­tem alerts road work­ers to the dan­ger of an approach­ing vehi­cle which has strayed into their work zone , using the lat­est ana­lyt­ic high-def­i­n­i­tion cam­era systems.

The sec­ond short­list­ed entry com­bines two projects, both of which form part of a Smart­Zone Safe­ty sys­tem to help keep the roads free-flow­ing dur­ing con­struc­tion projects.

A UK first were vari­able mul­ti­lin­gual road signs that tar­get­ed for­eign truck dri­vers accord­ing to their coun­try of ori­gin. The num­ber of for­eign HGV dri­vers on UK roads has soared by almost 50 per cent in the past few years. Sat­nav makes it sim­ple for them to nav­i­gate across the UK, but when there is a road clo­sure or diver­sion, things can start to get dif­fi­cult read­ing the tem­po­rary signs in Eng­lish. Police ser­vices have raised con­cerns of for­eign truck dri­vers tak­ing wrong routes on minor roads and inap­pro­pri­ate­ly through vil­lages. The vari­able mes­sage signs are trig­gered by for­eign num­ber plate recog­ni­tion cam­eras, so that a truck dri­ver has a mes­sage flash up road­side in their own lan­guage, well ahead of a road clo­sure or diversion. 

In anoth­er project, elec­tron­ic goal­posts’ inno­v­a­tive­ly com­bined sen­sors, vari­able mes­sage signs, alarms sys­tems and mon­i­tor­ing, to pro­vide an award-win­ning mod­el for alert­ing over-height vehi­cles in time before they reach a low bridge. This sys­tem helps pre­vent poten­tial­ly fatal and cost­ly bridge strikes. Lor­ries or bus­es strike a low bridge in the UK near­ly 2,000 times a year, almost five times a day. Bridge col­li­sions lead to road and rail delays, heavy con­ges­tion, envi­ron­men­tal haz­ards from fumes and emis­sions, and some­times derail­ment and bridge col­lapse. In the worst cas­es they can cause seri­ous injuries and fatal­i­ties. Where these elec­tron­ic goal­posts have been installed, no bridge strikes have occurred.

The Con­struc­tion News Awards are in their 24th year, and the awards cer­e­mo­ny, where the win­ners will be announced, takes place on the 9th July at JW Mar­riott Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. 

Fur­ther details if the projects can be found here: