With numerous innovative projects already underway across the city, Sunderland is quickly establishing itself as a proactive location committed to improving prospects for individuals and businesses alike.

Sunderland’s Smart City Vision sees the commencement of two major investments –

  1. The implementation of intelligent traffic mapping across the Wearmouth Bridge, St Mary’s Boulevard and St Michael’s Way
  2. The installation of 2.6km of fibre ducting into the entire length of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor 3 (SSTC3) – the installation is future-proofing the infrastructure to support forthcoming business and residential developments in this area

Already recognised as a digital leader, Sunderland is a city in which businesses can thrive and individuals can live modern, supported lives with in-built support systems and initiatives in place to fuel success.

The traffic mapping project is a joint initiative funded by Sunderland City Council in partnership with KBR and Vivacity. Vivacity’s aim is to revolutionise how transport is managed via award-winning Artificial Intelligence technology that captures and classifies live transport usage, 24/7.

The core aims of the city centre project are to gain insights into road usage and the movement of vehicles to enhance future plans, inform accurate predictions and minimise congestion. All underpinned by an eco-conscious drive to help the environment and lessen the damaging effects of congestion and inefficient road use.

Via the installation of two antennae and eleven traffic mapping sensors, the data obtained from this exercise has already brought immediate insights and improved intelligence around the traffic flow in this area of the city, including:

  • The ability to track vehicle times between junctions and see when there are delays, traffic build ups or the impact of temporary road works
  • Observe vehicle movements and clearly differentiate the different types of vehicles using the road at any given time, including private cars vs public transport and commercial vehicles
  • Monitor the use of public transport as well as other non-vehicular road users such as cyclists and pedestrians

In parallel the implementation of 2.6km of ducting under the new Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor 3 (SSTC3) enables the installation of new ultrafast broadband which will enhance opportunities available for businesses and residents alike. SSTC is a continuous dual carriageway link between the A19 and the Port of Sunderland. Phase 3 of this project (SSTC 3) is the critical 2.6 km link between the Northern Spire and the city centre, due for completion in 2021.

This project represents significant council investment in future proofing its infrastructure assets and indicates their smart plans to prevent any need for re-digging of the newly installed highway later by investing in the future, now.

These digital enhancements position Sunderland at the forefront of the digital revolution, prioritising investment into vital infrastructure to advance businesses and improve the lives of citizens across the city in line with the council’s ambitious smart city vision.

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