‘Technology for Clean Air Zone in Greater Manchester is right here’ – company managing director
THE expertise needed to deliver the £150 million roll out of Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone is available within the city region.
This is according to Brook Jackson, the managing director of hi-tech Bolton company 4Sight Imaging Ltd, which specialises in vehicle recognition technology.
His comments come as newly re-elected mayor Andy Burnham is poised to begin moves to comply with a government directive which says Greater Manchester must have a Category C Clean Air Zone. It is expected to be introduced from spring 2022.
Vans, buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses and heavy goods vehicles that do not meet emission standards would pay a daily charge to travel in the zone. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds are not included.
The Clean Air Zone is designed to improve air quality by encouraging upgrades to cleaner vehicles. It is not the same as a Congestion Charge Zone, where all or most vehicles are charged to drive.
Mr Jackson says his team of 25 highly qualified scientists have developed imaging software which overcomes the limitations of current automatic number plate recognition systems (ANPR).
4Sight’s solution uses single CCTV cameras which can view vehicles across up to six lanes of traffic.
Mr Jackson says he is keen to work with other organisations in the highways surveillance sector to get the best solution for Greater Manchester.
“My message to Mr Burnham and other city mayors in the north is, look at us and other firms like us as an option,” said Mr Jackson.
“There’s been a lot said by politicians in recent years about the Northern Powerhouse. If they mean it, they should be looking at the expertise in their own back yard.
“Many of our technologists have come from Manchester and Liverpool universities and others across the north.
“Greater Manchester is known to have a highly skilled digital community. Why not use it?”
Meanwhile, 4Sight Imaging has also pioneered similar vehicle detection technology which could help make the increasingly controversial smart motorway network safer.
Mr Jackson says 4Sight technology could use existing CCTV cameras immediately as an emergency life saving measure to detect broken down vehicles on smart motorways, while Highways England are working on rolling out their radar vehicle detection systems.
Recently, government-owned Highways England (HE) said, that due to the alarming number of deaths, no more motorways without a hard shoulder would open until radar technology to detect broken-down vehicles is installed.
4Sight technology is the culmination of years of development and research carried out by Mr Jackson’s hi-tech team from 4Sight’s base in Bark Street in the centre of Bolton.
And it has enabled the company’s imaging software to become the technology of choice for professional users across the globe, with more than 4,500 parking, security and law enforcement systems in the UK alone.
4Sight Imaging’s objective is also to forge partnerships with other companies who supply products and services to customers or “end users”, original equipment manufacturers and hardware distributors.
Mr Jackson’s senior management team is augmented by chairman Michael Bowes, business development director Marcus Boden and technical director Andrew Hill.
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- Aerial shot of Manchester city centre