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1Spatial and Northern Gas Networks recognised for smart software

By Eric Van Rees - 2nd October 2019 - 06:22

1Spatial and Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributor for the North of England, were proud recipients of the award for Application of Digital Technology at UKSTT’s annual awards this month.

UKSTT (the United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology) is a registered charity involved in the development and promotion of Trenchless, or “No-Dig”, techniques to reduce the impact of unnecessary road excavations.

The award was won for Northern Gas Networks’ and 1Spatial’s Smart Signage, Lighting and Guarding project which involved the development of a software programme which can lessen the impact of essential roadworks through the creation of instant plans that are sensitive to local conditions. The approach could dramatically reduce the time, travel, cost and carbon emissions involved in excavating roads and minimise the impact of essential roadworks.

Excavating roads to access utility pipelines and cables is often unavoidable. In the UK, there are approximately four million such digs every year. Each one must be meticulously planned and a significant amount require an approved, standards-compliant traffic management plan.

Traditionally, the process involves site visits, communications, exchanging documents and obtaining approvals. However, the award-wining technology automatically generates sophisticated traffic management plans on a scheme-by-scheme basis, which can be shared with local authorities, customers and other key stakeholders at the touch of a button.

A wide range of criteria can be used to generate each plan, including location of the works, proximity to local homes, businesses and schools, traffic flow data and compliance with industry rules and regulations.

Northern Gas Networks’ Head of Innovation, Richard Hynes-Cooper, added: “We are incredibly proud to have been awarded Best Application of Digital Technology in this year’s UKSTT awards. This is not only a great achievement for Northern Gas Networks, but also recognises a major step in the industry as a whole. Our colleagues at NGN, supported by our Innovation Team are constantly striving to deliver innovative ways of working and become early adopters of new technologies for the benefit of the communities we live and work in. We’re delighted that our work with 1Spatial, to enable us to design schemes that are even more customer focused, less disruptive and more sensitive to local issues, has been recognised on a national scale.”

Jessica Hampton, Head of Utilities at 1Spatial, says, “It’s a privilege to collaborate with Northern Gas Networks, who continue to make a name for themselves as trailblazers of innovation in the Utility sector. It is particularly exciting to engage on a project which has the potential to benefit not just the utilities sector but anybody planning, managing or delivering an excavation in the UK. This UKSTT award is wonderful recognition of how transformational unlocking the power of location data can be for organisations, customers, the environment and society as a whole.”

Read More: GIS Oil & Gas Utilities

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