Sheffield’s highway network set for smart tech overhaul

Assistant Head of Highway Maintenance at Sheffield City Council, Richard Bulloss with Cabinet Member, Councillor Mark Jones (credit: Pete Hill)

Sheffield’s highway network is set for a smart tech overhaul after the Amey, the city council’s highways contractor, partnered with smarty city operator, Connexin.

By spring, Amey, will have created a digitised public highway network for Sheffield, with thousands of individual wireless sensors communicating via smart sensors.

Using an Internet of Things (IoT) foundation for its digital strategy, which sees computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data, Amey will use Connexin’s CityOS platform to integrate, view, manage and respond to information to improve highway maintenance services and revolutionise service delivery across Sheffield, from Stocksbridge to Mosborough.

The platform will digitally connect essential highway maintenance services and inform operatives about the condition of street assets in real time.

For example, when to; empty high street bins to avoid overflowing, water trees for preservation, refill grit bins ready for icy conditions and clear gullies to reduce the risk of flash flooding. By alerting operatives, Amey’s maintenance managers will always be one step ahead.

Another huge benefit to the system will be a reduction in air pollution, with staff making fewer journeys across the city and being able to avoid spots where air quality levels are poor, to reduce the impact.

As a result, residents of Sheffield will benefit from a better quality of life with cleaner and safer living conditions and improved maintenance services which are delivered in a more efficient, sustainable manner, contributing to the city’s Clean Air Strategy.

Cabinet member for Environment, Street Scene and Climate Change at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Mark Jones said: “By investing in this new initiative, our contractors will be undertaking fewer journeys, which in turn will result in a reduction in energy consumption, pollution and congestion, whilst ensuring our streets are kept clean and our bins are emptied using a more efficient and effective approach.

“Using technology in this pioneering way will help the Council in its efforts to tackle the climate crisis, whilst improving standards.  Following installation, those who live and work in our city should see a positive impact in their neighbourhoods fairly quickly.”

Rob Bullock, Chief Sales Officer at Connexin says: “This project has far reaching, long term benefits that go beyond simply delivering service efficiencies. A city with reduced service vehicles contributing to traffic congestion and air pollution is a benefit to everyone and has the potential to become the “new norm” for how services are delivered to cities.