UK and International Customer Experience Awards finalist Northern Gas Networks has been recognised for its innovative work to improve the impact of traffic management on customers when improvements to its network are taking place.
The North of England’s gas distributor has already been shortlisted in six categories for the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards, and three categories in the 2019 International Customer Experience Awards, and now the firm has been nominated for a national award by the UK Society for Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) – a charity which promotes new technologies and practices which don’t involve digging.
Traffic management, such as temporary traffic lights or lane closures, can be necessary when work such as the replacement of gas pipes is taking place. In traffic sensitive areas, a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) is always required before work can start; agreed with the local authority and other stakeholders. However, these plans can be complicated and slow to produce.
Now, the Innovation Team at Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is developing new ways to plan traffic management so that it will have less of an impact on people’s lives. New software developed by NGN and project partner 1 Spatial now makes it possible to generate automated traffic plans far more quickly, with clear benefits for road users, local businesses, and other customers.
It’s this responsive approach which has seen the project shortlisted in the UKSTT awards’ category for the Application of Digital Technology, and winners will be revealed next month.
NGN’s Head of Innovation, Richard Hynes-Cooper, said: “This shortlisting recognises the ability for our designers, planners and engineers to generate traffic management plans, at the click of a button. This is a potential game-changer for the industry.
“It will save money on every traffic management scheme that we create, as well as ensuring that our key local stakeholders, such as councils, have quick and easy access to our plans.
“However, what is most exciting about this innovation for me is the ability to make our schemes even more customer-focused. Bu building in key information such as local traffic flows, we can design schemes which are less disruptive, and more sensitive to local issues.”