Smart sensors that will help build a detailed picture about how thousands of people use selected roads in Cambridge have been installed on Mill Road in Cambridge and the surrounding streets, since May 2019, to record numbers of pedestrians, bicycles, cars and other vehicles.

Mill Road Bridge will be closed to vehicles for eight weeks from 1 July 2019 for crucial work being carried out by Govia Thameslink to improve rail services.

What we are doing:

Smart Cambridge have installed 15 traffic sensors, and the City Council have put 7 air quality sensors, on and around Mill Road to capture data that can monitor any changes to road usage and air quality, and the impact on surrounding roads as a consequence of the closure

What this allows us to do:

  • Trial new technology and data solutions so a generic process can be rolled out for other schemes building bigger pictures of the city
  • Make city data available to the public via Cambridgeshire Insight and ICP
  • Gather a full year of data on traffic volumes
  • Understand how closures affect behaviour and whether this is sustained or just for the period
  • Carry out analysis to investigate patterns between traffic volumes and other data such as
    • air quality
    • traffic accidents, road/civil works etc.
    • Weather conditions

Why this is important:

  • Improves understanding of road usage
  • Offers a clearer picture of the impact of the closure for traffic volumes and air quality for Mill Road and the surrounding roads

Other factors we think will influence data:

  • Fire on Mill Road
  • Gas works
  • Extinction Rebellion protests in July 2019

Latest Learnings:

Read our first case study, stemming from the Mill Road Sensor Project, to find out how the date is helping Cambridgeshire County Council’s Signals Team.

Our report on the early findings of the Mill Road Sensor Trial can be found here. The Cambridge City Council’s report on the air quality monitoring can be found here.

The data:

The Mill Road closure traffic sensor data can be publicly viewed on the Cambridgeshire Insight open data portal.