Christchurch City Council, New Zealand

The customer

The Christchurch City Council (CCC) provides a wide range of services to the Christchurch community.

The council is responsible for providing services such as building consents and maintenance of parks, water and waste services to over 356,000 people in the Christchurch community. One of the council's responsibilities is the management of traffic flow in the central city.

The challenge

The CCC required a high-speed, reliable and cost-effective solution to improve traffic flow in the central city. In an effort to reduce unnecessary travel and improve parking occupancy, the council wanted to provide real time information on the supply of parking spaces in the off-street parking complexes around the central city.

To improve the city's traffic flow, two car parking display signs were installed on the inner one-way system in the central city, which has been designated as the parking search route. Two more signs are planned at a later stage.

The signs provide the public with timely information on car parking availability, indicate whether the building is open or closed and if required, route information in the event of a dramatic change to road conditions in the central city region.

Wireless communications were needed between both the display signs and the car parking buildings to the council's chambers, to ensure an economical and reliable solution. The alternative for this system was to physically install additional phone lines and cables, which would involve additional setup costs and ongoing rental charges. The council approached Tait to propose a radio communications solution.

The solution

The eight car parking buildings each have a programmable logic controller (PLC) and a TM8105 equipped with high speed data. The PLCs monitor gate openings and closings to the buildings, allowing car parking building operators to view the open/close status of any building and their occupancy rates.

The TM8105s provide a wireless high speed data link from the PLCs back to the council chambers. The council can then view and control the car parking system remotely.

The CCC has used Tait equipment for over 24 years and Tait is the council's preferred radio supplier. Karen Scott, Team Leader for Off-Street Parking, said the council is happy with the solution. "The system will allow us to improve traffic flow in the central city. Previously customers would queue outside car parks, causing chaos and congestion."

The TM8105 was the best solution for this system and has high speed data capabilities. The TM8105 has been designed with ultimate flexibility for system integration. It offers an expansive internal options area for maximum customization ability.

The Tait solution has benefited both the public and the council. The system ensures the CCC effectively manages traffic during peak times (such as Christmas) and reduces everyday congestion.