PIE Mapping assists Wiltshire Council to deliver Local Transport Plan

The Local Transport Plan (LTP) is an important part of transport planning in the UK.
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* Wiltshire Council
* Freight

* Transportation
* Government

* England

Nov. 20, 2012 - PRLog -- Not least for Wiltshire Council which is challenged to ensure that its road network operates efficiently, while limiting the impact that road freight transportation has on the county.

As a strategic transport authority, the Council prepares the statutory plans to set forward-looking objectives and actions concerning transport, climate change and accessibility.

To support the Freight Strategy objectives of its current LTP, the Council has been working closely with PIE Mapping (PIE) to develop an online portal service. Built upon its existing data and freight routing policies, the portal provides map-based information and routing for road freight operators.

The challenge

In its most recent LTP, which covers the county’s primary transport goals from 2011 to 2026, Wiltshire Council listed a series of key challenges relating to

freight including:
• Inappropriate route choice
• Adverse implications for freight operators caused
by peak time congestion
• A tension between commercial transportation
requirements and the resulting environmental
and social effects

“Efficient distribution in any area is critical in determining market diversity and consumer choice, and in doing so drives competitiveness, jobs and prosperity,”
explains Kingsley Hampton, Senior

Transport Planner, Wiltshire Council. “But as a largely rural county, we’re particularly sensitive to the environmental and social impact that road freight transport can have.” This is a major issue for the Council, with the adverse impact that freight transport has on the local environment leading to an increase in concerns from residents. With priorities for both the coalition government and Wiltshire Council to support economic growth and reduce carbon emissions, when it comes to freight planning it’s easy to see why these two things could be at odds with each other.

“What’s really important though, and what our LTP is focused on, is finding a balance between meeting the transport needs of industry and commerce and limiting the social and environmental consequences.” In its efforts to find that balance, the Council developed a Freight Assessment and Priority Mechanism (FAPM) which puts a procedure in place for handling freight-based issues when they are reported:

“Any issue reported is firstly assessed to see if small scale measures such as providing information or small scale signing can be achieved to resolve it.

“Where further assessment is required, the FAPM is applied to properly assess and prioritise the situation on a scale which runs from ‘no action necessary’ right up to ‘enforceable or even physical restrictions.”

Regardless of priority, it is crucial that Councils are able to provide appropriate advice and have resources in place to help deal with these freightrelated

It’s precisely to meet this requirement where PIE has given the Council a powerful new tool in meeting the road freight goals of the LTP.

The opportunity

Since its first LTP in 2001, Wiltshire Council has been committed to improving road freight movements throughout the county. It initially produced basic printed maps to ensure operators used the most appropriate roads, but more recently began looking at opportunities to use web-based technology to take this to the next level:

“If we could create an affordable electronic solution, which gave businesses instant access to a routing tool displaying suitable routes, weight, height and loading restrictions, we’d be making far greater progress with our LTP goals,” says Kingsley.

“Particularly so if the general public could access it, thus raising awareness of freight related issues in the county.”

With a solid business need defined, the concept was approved and PIE was selected to lead this rather bespoke project.

The solution

The Freight Gateway is PIE Mapping’s online freight routing solution which allows Local Authorities to directly address many of the issues highlighted in a freight strategy, including stopping rat runs, implementing route efficiency, cutting congestion and improving road safety.

The system, which has a user interface similar to that of Google or AA maps, can be integrated into an existing Council website or can run as a standalone service.

Additional freight-specific details such as parking bays, industrial estates and restricted routes allow operators to route their vehicles efficiently and compliantly throughout the county.

“Since navigation systems have become common place, particularly with hauliers who have little local knowledge of the county, it’s become common to hear reports of HGVs using unsuitable roads as drivers implicitly trust the technology to give them the most accurate information,” continues Kingsley.

“Freight Gateway is an invaluable intervention tool,tackling the issue at source by ensuring users have access to freight-specific information when planning their journey to, or through Wiltshire.”

Kingsley also highlights the benefits of allowing the general public to access the system:

“The added transparency that we now have with Freight Gateway is extremely important as the detail contained within it can help individuals understand
the freight strategy we have implemented - and in many circumstances alleviate any concerns that they may have.

The outcome

Freight Gateway has quickly become a key component of Wiltshire Council’s freight management strategy, providing industry with a valuable mapping resource while addressing crucial environmental and social issues. Kingsley is already optimistic about future possibilities of the technology:

“The introduction of the portal immediately opened the door to a number of opportunities for us, but its potential is huge and the team at PIE is working with us to investigate future development of the system.” Freddie Talberg, CEO at PIE, was involved in the development of the system from the outset:

“Partnership is important with all the work we do, whether it’s a Local Authority, Freight Operator or a Satellite Navigation provider. But being the first authority to adopt the Freight Gateway product, we needed to work particularly closely with Wiltshire Council to ensure that the system met their specific needs.”

“The project has been very positive and it represents significant progress in public/private sector partnership. It’s also a real first for the UK in terms of addressing road related issues within a sustainable business model.

“We’re now looking forward to continuing to work with Wiltshire Council on adding further functionality to the system, and we’re also in an ideal position to roll the solution out to Local Authorities right across the UK and Europe.”

“We’re now looking forward to continuing to work with Wiltshire Council on adding further functionality to the system, and we’re also in an ideal position to roll the solution out to Local Authorities right across the UK and Europe.”

About PIE

PIE specialises in routing, mapping and data processing for commercial vehicle fleets, local authorities and private business. PIE is also behind www.londonlorrycontrol.com, which helps hauliers comply with the London Lorry Control Scheme’s Excluded Road Network.

Since 2004, PIE has been collating and processing road network data specific to commercial vehicle movements in London and across the UK. We collect data from over 470 local authority organisations.

In 2012, PIE worked with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic

Games (LOCOG) to develop the Games Journey Family Planner to help manage the navigation of Games Family members throughout the Olympics.

Caledonia House, 223-231 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9NG. Tel: 0844 847 0876

Phone:020 7952 0450
Tags:Wiltshire Council, Freight
Industry:Transportation, Government
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