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Ross Atkin Associates
Research, design and development

Foot Tunnel Lift Info System

Foot Tunnel Lift Info System

I am working with The Royal Borough of Greenwich to create a webapp that will allow users of the Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels to check if the lifts are working before they set off.

It is great to be working on another project in the smart city space that solves a real problem for citizens. It is also fantastic to be installing hardware in such iconic and important pieces of London’s infrastructure.

Both over one hundred years old, the two foot tunnels provide the only river crossings for pedestrians and cyclists east of Tower Bridge. Because of this they have become essential parts of London’s cycling infrastructure. Each tunnel is served by a pair of lifts which run 24 hours a day. Unfortunately as they are entirely open to both the public and the elements they sometimes go out of service. In this scenario tunnel users need to negotiate over 100 steps which for many cyclists is not doable carrying their bike. For these people a nine mile detour can be required. The liftcheck webapp will allow anyone to check the status of the lifts before they set off allowing them to plan their journey with confidence.

As with other projects I’m doing in the ‘Smart City’ I am building the system from the user case up, minimising the data collected and stored and focusing on solving the problem for the tunnel users with as simple a set-up as possible.