First Data and Verification Count from the New FoCW People Counter

The Friends of Centurion Way counter began counting on New Years Day 2021 and the next stage of the project is to make sure it is making a reasonable estimate of the level of traffic on the path.

On Sunday Morning 3rd Jan 2021 Gabby Adams cycled into Chichester from Fishbourne to help us figure how to download data from the equipment and to make certain it was counting reliably.

Gabby Checks the Counter
Gabby Checking the Operation and Alignment of the Counter

Gabby noticed the height that counter had been installed at coincided exactly with where the infrared light beam might be blocked by an obstruction on the opposite side of the path. This would be likely to cause issues with the reliability of the count. The the FoCW have now re-adjusted the height of the counter to solve this minor issue. Gabby’s cheerful expression is partly due to her having just fitted chemical warming pads into her boots and having warm toes even in the winter frost.

Bill Sharp arrived on Sunday afternoon on the 3rd Jan 2021 to help Mark Record do a manual verification count to check the counters were working reliably.

Bill Sharp keeping Count
Bill Sharp making a verification count to check automatic people count

Between 14:55 and 15:25 Bill counted 35 people heading Southbound and Mark counted 25 going Northbound.

The counter’s infrared light beam is positioned approximately 1.1 metres above the path and we noticed several small childrenĀ  passed beneath the height where the counter could register them. In addition, many Chichester couples are surprisingly romantic and walk past the counter arm in arm (gazing lovingly at each other) and this is likely to confuse our counter which will only recorded such couples as a single people.

During the manual count the automated counter registered 23 people passing Northbound (On Channel A) and 27 heading Southbound (On Channel B). This gave an automated count figure of 83.3% of that which we had counted manually. FoCW may consider lowering the counter so it might better record small children using the path but we need to consider many people also walk large dogs here and our figures may lack credibility if the sensor regularly counts large pets as well as people. We will make additional tests of the system before committing to any further changes to the set up.

A chart of the CW path’s hourly use at the start of the year can be seen below…

Chart showing Path Use
Chart showing path usage at the very start of Jan 2021

Happy New Year to everyone on behalf of the FoCW

Mark Record

Technical details for FoCW way counter system data-analysts …

We will soon be sharing an SFTP accessible web-server upload location for the raw counter data.

To access or link to these files after you have uploaded them via SFTP, prefix their file name with the following text (without the inverted commas) “”

For example I have uploaded the file with name “2021-01-03.MEM”

This can now be referenced using a link constructed as follows…


Here is a working example.

Give me a call if anyone gets stuck.

Happy uploading,


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