Oxford Station, a bustling railway station, has been a vital point of connection for commuters, travelers, and businesses alike. Recognising the need to accommodate the increasing passenger demand, Network Rail embarked on an ambitious project to expand the station with a new platform and a western entrance. Entrusting the construction expertise of Kier and their procurement through Sunbelt Rentals.
However, as with any major project situated in a dense urban area, traffic management becomes an imperative focus. This was especially true for the expansion of Oxford Station.
Before the project could progress in full swing, it was crucial to close the Botley Road at the rail bridge to ensure smooth construction operations. Kier, anticipating some traffic, developed a temporary turning and waiting area to ensure buses continued to serve the surrounding areas as normal.
Given the frequency of around 15 buses per hour and the additional construction traffic, it was paramount to have an effective, quick-response system in place to manage the constant inflow and outflow of vehicles, ensuring the safety of both the public and the construction crew.
The Solution: SentriGate
Understanding the problem, Kier turned to SentriGate system in favour of traffic lights or other means of traffic control. This solar-powered, remote-controlled mobile gate had already proven its worth in managing heavy traffic scenarios effectively in other similar situations.
Four strategically positioned SentriGates took over the entrances, exits, and vital checkpoints around the Junction of Botley Road and Cripley Road, a crucial traffic point. Under the vigilance of a single traffic marshall, equipped with a remote control capable of operating all four gates, the system was put to work.
This marshall, stationed at a safe distance, could swiftly open and close gates depending on the traffic requirements. The gates were not just a tool for vehicular regulation but acted as a physical and visual checkpoint, instilling discipline in the traffic flow.
Adding to the versatility of SentriGate was its ease of storage. At the end of each day, the gates were effortlessly wheeled to a secure location, ensuring no obstruction, only to be wheeled out and made operational within minutes the next morning.
The incorporation of SentriGate has been well received. It significantly improved traffic fluidity, reduced chances of vehicular mishaps, and bolstered the confidence of the traffic marshalls, ensuring they could perform their duties optimally without compromising their safety.
Moreover, the buses and construction vehicles, despite the initial concerns, continued to operate seamlessly, causing minimal disturbance to the ongoing construction activities and the general public.
Client: Kier, procured through Sunbelt Rentals
Project: Expansion of Oxford Station on behalf of Network Rail
Challenge: Effective traffic management due to closure of Botley Road at the rail bridge
Location: Junction of Botley Road / Cripley Road, Oxford
Implementation Date: 11th April 2023