Durham County Council: delivering a safer, serviceable, sustainable highway network

Durham County Council take advantage of Network Monitor to better detect and resolve issues on their roads

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Durham County Council manages over 3,800km of roads. With a vision for an Altogether Better Durham by 2030, one of the council’s central aims is to achieve a safe, serviceable and sustainable highway network by reducing carbon emissions, reducing impact on the travelling public and enhancing road safety.

The Challenge

Before one.network, it was a challenge for Durham’s Inspection Operatives to quickly react and resolve issues on the network given its sheer scale, in such an expansive county. Typically, Inspectors had daily set routes they would follow to check for congestion and unexpected incidents. Unless they were told about an issue by a member of the public, problems might not be discovered immediately, with potential for any issues to escalate and cause disruptions for the travelling public, as well as possibly increasing carbon emissions. 

Having been regular users of the one.network platform since 2019, Durham turned to one.network for a review of its congestion management strategy, with the aim of being able to manage traffic movements as effectively and efficiently as possible.   

Key Objectives

Diagnose and react quicker

to problems on the road network.

Improve network flow

reducing impact on journey times for the travelling public.

Minimise carbon emissions

caused by congestion.

"Network Monitor helps us be efficient in identifying causes of abnormal congestion, notifying us when and where unplanned activity is impacting network flow and as a result helping us to improve journey times and reduce carbon emissions caused by congestion."

Kevin Ferguson

Technical Permit & Streetworks System Supervisor, Durham County Council

The Result

With one.network’s Network Monitor module, Durham’s Inspections team can be reactive and dynamic when issues and congestion arise on the road network. 

Network Monitor provides real-time traffic information across the road network, alerting the team to severe and non-typical congestion on a map-based dashboard. It eliminates the noise from the one.network map, enabling team members to focus on unusual disruption which requires further investigation and potential intervention. 

For example, if incorrect traffic management is being used for road works, such as temporary traffic lights, and as a result, causing a build-up of traffic, Network Monitor provides a real-time view which the Council can review. This enables Operatives to be routed directly to the location so the problem can be investigated, and the appropriate action taken. 

Not only is this helping Durham to respond quickly and reduce both impact on road users and journey times, but it’s also minimising the carbon emissions caused by congestion. In doing so, it is helping the council meet the goals set out in its Local Transport Plan and contributing to the delivery of actions within Durham’s declared climate emergency. 

Network Monitor has additionally helped Durham County Council officers manage the network in situations where permits have over-run or incorrect traffic management is being used. Inspectors can now effectively identify these instances and rectify them by ensuring the proper permits are in place and appropriate fees are paid. Such work helps Durham manage the network for the benefit of all highway users.