Various locations across Coventry City
Finding a solution for vulnerable road users with the removal of pedestrian crossings
Technology beacon to assist vulnerable users and time, cost and carbon savings
With formal pedestrian crossing sites being removed across the city (signalised, zebra etc.), Coventry City Council’s Transport Innovation Manager, Sunil Budhdeo, was tasked with finding a solution to protecting vulnerable road users.
A number of solutions were reviewed including the TAC-GRID Tactile System with technology beacons.
Following an initial consultation, the first step was live trial sites which were installed in the City in 2019. Mr Budhdeo, pleased with the outcome, then engaged with the City’s DLO and council members. He explained how the system works, the time, cost and carbon savings over traditional tactile methods in relation to installation and maintenance, and the innovative beacon which would assist vulnerable users.
There are now over 600 TAC-GRID installations throughout the City, each with an embedded technology beacon.
“I don’t believe TAC-GRID has been explored to its full potential by our sector, Local Authorities should be considering this solution more. The time, financial and carbon savings are excellent, and the technology beacon with the Live Beacon app provides invaluable information and advice for vulnerable users. Coventry has definitely seen benefits in all areas and we’re happy to share our knowledge and experience with others.”
Sunil Budhdeo, Transport Innovation Manager, Coventry City Council
On arrival at a crossing, the pedestrian will hear a message via the free to download Live Beacon app explaining their location, type of crossing, possible direction i.e.. towards City Centre. With the Highways Dashboard, Coventry City Council can control the beacons within their City and
can instantly change the message the pedestrian hears, giving them the opportunity to advertise events, issue warnings regarding a closed crossing and much more. As a standard the Highways Dashboard also offers analytics showing the usage of the crossing, battery usage, maintenance updates and beacon locations.
Coventry chose the TAC-GRID Tactile System to aid vulnerable pedestrians and reduce the costs and carbon of more traditional tactile methods. They have achieved time, carbon and cost savings with less disruption to the traveling public. The technology beacon and Live Beacon app have proven to be popular and useful for vulnerable road users and the TAC-GRID Tactile System is now specified for crossings.
With the beacon technology, there are also opportunities to take the innovation a step further, something Mr Budhdeo is keen to explore.
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