Installation of Traffic Counters to Monitor Who, When and How many People use our Path.

Paula Chatfield (Leader of the Parklands Community Association) was the first to champion this idea within the FoCW group. She observed that people both in the local Council and community are discussing/making plans about Centurion Way based on relatively unfounded assumptions about it’s use. There is in fact very little reliable data on who, how and when people use the path at it’s southern end.

Adam Bell (who is closely involved with Sustrans) is investigating smart pyro counting sensors that look at the thermal image of passers by. Adam has been speaking to a firm called Healthmatic Ltd. For £1,950 + VAT they supply & install a post and included in that is access to the data and replacement batteries for the year. The sales person he has been in discussions with said there’d be 2 sets of data available for downloading from a web site – total users passing the post, and separately anything metallic (assumed to be a bike). Subtracting one from the other would then give the numbers of pedestrians. Subsequent monitoring would cost £350 + VAT a year and covers replacement batteries and a modest assumption for vandalism, such as one sensor being hit.

We intend raising money so that at least one counter can be installed at the southern end of the path. If we understand how the path is used then we may see how to best improve it for its users.

Reinstallation of the Archway Sculpture Originally made by Richard Farrington.

Ian Smith (from the Centurion Way Users Group) began work on this reinstallation project and has now been joined by Mark Record (FoCW website Author). When the path was created in 1995 Sustrans commissioned many sculptures that were installed along it’s length. The southern end of the path began where it passed beneath a visually striking archway.

Richard Farringdon used ideas from Bishop Luffa school and wooden ribs from a ship in Portsmouth Harbour to make the archway
Richard Farrington used ideas from Bishop Luffa school and wooden ribs from a ship in Portsmouth Harbour to make the archway

Unfortunately the wooden supports of the archway eventually failed after many years and the sculpture fell down. The remaining elements of the sculpture are now stored in a council warehouse in Drayton. Both the Centurion Way Users Group and the Friends of  Centurion Way are jointly undertaking a feasibility study investigating the refurbishment of Richard Farrington’s Archway Sculpture.

Archway at the paths opening in 1995
Archway at the path opening in 1995

We have also been in contact with Richard who is eager to help assist with this Project. As soon as this project begins to look like a feasible proposition (we should know this by early February 2018) we will try and raise funds to put this local landmark back in place.