At the heart of many of the decisions that you make when managing public resources is knowing the number of people or objects using a service or space. If you expect 1000’s everyday, you need to think about litter pickers, bin collections and coffee stands. With low usage, you will be thinking about weed killing and volunteers. Either way, it is essential that you build your decisions on facts rather than fiction.
Footfall is the generic phrase we use to cover "Numbers of Units". This maybe people, cars, bikes or horses or a mix of them. The purpose of a footfall survey, whether it is temporary or part time is to accurately identify the usage per hour and per day over the period of the survey.
The type of equipment that you need will depend on:
1. The assets being counted
2.The accuracy required
3.The physical width of the counting area.
Some Authorities need information accurately everyday, whether it is snowing, raining or blowing leaves everywhere. In these circumstances you will need Radio Beam (“RB”) Technology which is able to measure across wide gateways and to cut through the environmental factors and bring you accurate data whatever is thrown at it.
RB's use the change in the radio waves as they pass through an object to identify what it has recorded. It can be set to identify people, bikes, horses and probably hedgehogs ( though no one has ever asked).
For less accurate ( but still 95%+) data, we use Passive Infra Red sensors (PIR). They have the distinct advantage of being more cost effective than RB’s and are easily installed and moved by local staff. In doorways and gates, they are ideal and difficult to beat,
A PIR will detect a change in heat passing a location. This is used for counting people or other objects in a relatively restricted location like a gateway or door, but can also be effected by extreme weather. The effective range is up to 2m.
Magnetometers & Pressure Mats
Magnetometers, which are basically a coil of electric wire under the ground, are accurate, but only really work within pinch points. It is possible to overcome this by fitting several magnetometers across a bike path but costs build and accuracy drops as the width increases. There is potentially a higher cost in the installation as they are fitted below the ground. Exactly the same can be said for Pressure Mats.
RB’s cost from £2300 to install, PIR’s from £1200 and Magnetometers and Pressure Mats will cost roughly £1500. This always includes a 12 months of live data and the warranty.
We do a high number of temporary surveys with periods typically of 3 to 6 months. This will normally be using PIR's and cost from £600 per device, including installation and removal.
The data is displayed over the web, and hosted on our secure server in the cloud.