- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
Graham Firth Communications Ltd is a specialist integrator that installs, maintains and manages temporary CCTV for Highways England. The company works on major UK motorway improvement and maintenance projects, often with 24/7 remote monitoring.
The M62 surveillance project handles traffic between junction 9 and 12, carrying as many as 119,000 cars a day. Highways England (the former Highways Agency) is the Government-owned company, which operates England’s motorways and major A roads. It manages traffic management CCTV systems and on-road signage, and provides real-time, web-based information to traffic officers and the public via its Traffic England website. It takes responsibility for all incidents on its roads. The prime purpose of the new CCTV was to identify traffic congestion and manage signage and traffic speeds, to reduce congestion.
Ian Farr, technical director at Videcon, said: “The traffic management system was designed by Videcon and Graham Firth Communications. It comprises 70 Redvision RV30, X-SERIES rugged PTZ dome cameras; a Digifort, open-platform, video management system for recording and control, running on high-resilience, Dell servers; Digifort’s free client software running in the monitoring station on Dell PCs controlling 16 monitors set up in multi-screen, alarm screen and report screen modes; and finally a dedicated fibre network infrastructure from specialist manufacturer, Comnet, with massive data carrying capability and low latency for responsive PTZ operation. Videcon was involved in the design, specification and commissioning of the system, calculating bandwidth demands, storage volumes, server capability and client PC requirements.”
The RV30, X-Series PTZ dome cameras, made in the UK by Redvision, were used throughout. They are finished with marine-grade plating and powder-coated paint. They are IP67 weather-proof rated, as well as shock and vandal resistant, making them suited the distributor says to outdoor surveillance use such as a motorway. The model of cameras chosen includes a wiper to remove dirt, grit salt and rain from its optical, glass, camera window. The Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) figures for the RV30 at seven years means minimised on-site failures. Redvision also offers a back to base repair system if any cameras do go wrong.
Ian added: “The Digifort VMS was selected for its intuitive, logical and easy to use front end. It allows the set up and presentation of camera channels to be individually designed for each operator in the monitoring station. It is configured so that motion detection will trigger alarms and put ‘bookmarks’ on the video timeline for quick searching and retrieval of data. This helps identify incidents in real-time, such as traffic braking, slowing and stopping, including when there is an accident. Unlike most VMS platforms, Digifort has no annual maintenance fees, so has no ongoing overhead. Analytics can be added for further system intelligence, which includes functionality like tailgating, vehicle counting, presence, enter/exit, appear/disappear, direction filter, speed filter, stationery, loitering, abandoned object and removed object. Further add-on modules include license plate recognition (LPR), Briefcam synopsis, facial recognition, edge recording and edge analytics, meaning there are no limits to system upgrade flexibility.”
Dean Jewitt, Contracts Director at Graham Firth Communications, added: “Graham Firth Communications has supplied, installed and maintained temporary CCTV systems for Highways England for over 30 years. We combined our expertise with Videcon’s high-quality design, service and support to ensure that the M62, smart motorway CCTV project was a success. The advanced surveillance system is installed on one of Britain’s busiest motorways and has become an example of best practice in the sector. Videcon drew on its close relationship with industry-renowned suppliers, Redvision and Digifort, to provide an optimised system, ideally suited to the application. I was impressed with Videcon’s capability and attention to detail throughout the project.”
The Redvision cameras; Digifort VMS and analytics software; and ComNet optical networks are now being rolled out across other motorways.