Traffic Enforcement Systems Limited is an innovative company who have been providing specialised mobile CCTV solutions for over ten years. Drawing on a wealth of experience in local government Parking & Traffic Enforcement and Community Safety Monitoring, TES combined this with a deep routed expertise in CCTV and associated technologies to produce a local authority first.
Since 2004, TES have been providing specialised mobile and fixed CCTV and ANPR solutions to the public sector in the UK. Currently 25 out of the 32 London boroughs and the City of London use TES systems on a daily basis. TES award winning cloud based Compliance Display Map service was first used by LOCOG transport to manage over 2,000,000 virtual permits for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The company have also developed the ANPR based Work Place Levy scheme system for Nottingham City Council.
TES also operate internationally and provide the back office and smart phone based on street parking management solution for SPS based in Cape Town South Africa. In 2015, TES was awarded co funding for its innovative TAIS App Project by the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Union.
We invited Dave Skull, project manager at Traffic Enforcement Systems Limited to tell us more about the company and their key business principles.
“We are an SME comprising of 16 staff, with an emphasis on research and development. We have seven full time developers with a range of skills and expertise
in the areas of cloud based software, desktop software, smart phone apps, video analytics and electronics design.
Our basic principles are: • Understand the needs of your customers so you can provide the right solutions, business intelligence is key, know your markets, monitor the competition. • Continual development of new products and services - ‘don’t rest on your own laurels’. • Most of clients are local government and public money is our money, so value for money is the mantra. • Good customer service is a given - not an optional extra.
“All our clients are treated equally whether they are a prospective or established customer, but the first and most important step is a fact finding mission, most of our customers come to us because they feel that our technology can solve a set of problems they have been tasked with solving themselves on a daily basis. We like to understand those problems so we can find the right solutions and If we don’t have one off the shelf we can often tailor one to their needs.”
TES have battled many challenges that have occurred in order for them to be a successful company. These include changes to legislation which directly affect the application of the company’s products, and the economic downturns and austerity measures within national and local government. Dave talks us through the current state of the industry and what changes are affecting business.
“Over the last decade the parking and traffic management industry has seen a paradigm shift in terms of the introduction of new tech on street and in car parks. There have been huge advances in ANPR, CCTV with advanced Video Analytics, and web/smart phone based payment/permit solutions, parking sensors and the like have started to deliver more efficient ways for consumers to pay for parking and obtain permits and for operators to manage these systems TES has continually sought to develop enforcement and management technologies for these systems.
“Our core client base is local government who are continuously under pressure to save money and identify further efficiencies. They will be relying on enabling technologies to let them do this such as virtual permit systems allowing them to save costs in processing staff, printing etc.
“According to official UK Government statistics there were 35 million vehicles licensed for use on the roads in Great Britain in 2013, and the figure increases year on year. Currently, the UK Parking sector has only enough publicly available parking spaces to handle 30% of the total amount of licenced vehicles on the road at any one time.
“This creates a big problem as according to the RAC, cars are nearly always parked and it has been estimated a car spends an average of only 4% of its time in transit, spending the other 96% of its lifetime either parked at home or at a destination.
“For Local Authorities tasked with providing public parking spaces and managing the traffic on their congested roads and highways and with the introduction of virtual ‘paperless’ permits and cashless payments the only way to effectively enforce these schemes is to use ANPR based mobile systems that can work with the civil enforcement officers on street.”
When undertaking a new project, Dave explains how TES ensure clients receive the best possible outcome.
“Our mission is to be best of breed within our chosen core markets, and to achieve we will stick to our high level strategy.
“All TES projects are assigned a dedicated technical project manager. All TES project managers have timed served industry specific experience (often in operations) and this means they are able to ‘feel the clients pain’ and quickly deal with potential issues and action/find solutions where appropriate. TES are ISO 9001 accredited and as such as part of the sale the PM has a specification signed off by the client to work too, and a formal change control process is in place to manager variation orders.
“Finding innovative solutions to new and existing problems makes us stand out. Also, having the ability to jump into the deep end and take the risk to adopt new ideas and technologies
rather than stay safe and produce more of the same.
“Most of our competitors are large corporates or subsidiaries of large corporates. They can often be slower to react to specific customer requirements/enquiries. As an SME, we have less process and less overhead therefore we are often able to react quicker and with a more tailored solution without lots and lot of noughts being added on the end of the price tag. “
Dave concludes the interview by giving us an overview of the future trends that TES will follow to maintain its success.
“Autonomous vehicles, advanced parking guidance systems integrated with local transport systems, improved SAT NAV and GPS systems these are all emerging technologies that will become more prevalent in the coming years. We hope to further expand the software development side of the business further; our product development roadmap is underpinned by this.”
TES Compliance Display Map the award winning technology that kept the London 2012 games venues traffic flowing. One of the key objectives of the 2012 bid was to make the London Olympics the first games to be primarily accessible via public transport and to promote these ticket holders for the London games events were issued with a free Travelcard to encourage them to use the capitals extensive tube, rail and bus network rather than drive to the venues.
Accordingly, vehicle access and parking in and around the roads at Olympic events was strictly controlled.
This meant that LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) Transport team faced the daunting challenge of not only having to issue permits to the fleet of official ‘Games Vehicles’ but also issue parking permits to the residents and businesses around the Olympic venues spread across the capital.
Over 2 million applications for vehicle parking permits were received from residents, their visitors and businesses via the web, IVR phone system or by post. These requests were validated by checking that the requestors post codes fell within a controlled zone. To speed up the process and due to very short implementation timescales, and the need to balance a tight budget nearly all of the permits were issued as ‘virtual’ permits with the details stored in a central database. This meant a mobile ANPR based enforcement solution would be required to identify whether parked vehicles held a valid permit or not.
TES provides the enforcement solution LOCOG turned to TES who provided eco-friendly Generation 4 cars equipped with CCTV and ANPR to enforce the scheme. Controlled Parking Zones were pre-configured and downloaded into the cars database. TES ‘patent pending’ web based Compliance Display Map was used to track TES CCTV cars and Civil Enforcement Officers (CEO’s) by GPS. Throughout the 2012 games TES cars were used in “Spotter Mode” to patrol the specially created Olympic controlled parking zones and identify potentially non-compliant vehicles by reading the number plates of parked vehicles within a zone using ANPR and instantly checking their permit status in real time by linking to the virtual permit system database over the 3G network.
Any potential contraventions were automatically sent on to Compliance Display Map by the TES CCTV cars. Compliance Display Map then identified the nearest CEO to the potential contravention and instantly forwarded a map, the street and location of the vehicle in potential contravention along with an image of the vehicle in question to the CEO’s hand held computer for action.
An added advantage was that because Compliance Display Map is a web based system and can be accessed using a standard web browser, no specialised software or hardware was required in order to install the system at the parking control office in Harlow, which allowed for rapid deployment. The entire 24hour a day enforcement operation was controlled from Harlow by an enforcement manager who was responsible for the deployment and monitoring of the fleet of mobile CCTV / ANPR cars using TES’s Compliance Display Map.
Award winning partnership LOCOG Transports decision to use virtual permits enforced using a TES Mobile ANPR solution with Compliance Display Map enabled the enforcement team to keep London’s extremely busy road network open to Olympic traffic and minimise disruption to the millions of people living around the Olympic venues, with the whole scheme deployed and operational in a very short space of time.
During the games, TES cars covered 22,947 miles and processed 242,621 vehicles across the four London Boroughs that were mainly affected by the temporary parking controls, this would not have been possible using a traditional paper based permit and manual enforcement system.
Furthermore, LOCOG Transport achieved a saving in excess of 55% on the parking element of their Local Area Traffic Management and Parking Plan budget for the London 2012 Olympics.
In recognition of the success of LOCOG’s Transports virtual permit scheme enforced by the TES Generation 4 Cars and Compliance Display Map they won the “Parking Partnership of the Year Award” at the 2013 British Parking Awards.
Company: Traffic Enforcement Systems Limited
Name: Dave Skull
Web Address: www.tesltd.co.uk
Telephone: 0800 009 6930