Nationwide Data Collection

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Nationwide Data Collection's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Nationwide Data Collection is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.nationwidedatacollection.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | NATIONWIDE DATA COLLECTION
Managing Director Gerard O’Regan
Part of our fleet
Nationwide Data Collection collect information for use
in major infrastructure projects throughout the UK and
Europe. Based at a head office in Warwick, they have
expanded to create offices in London, Scotland, Yorkshire
and Ireland and more recently have established a presence in
Deventer in the Netherlands. Heavily involved with the HS2
project, they are one of the leading traffic data collection
services in the country. Managing Director Gerard O’Regan
explores how they have embraced new technology and adapted
to decreased funding in the sector.
We offer a range of data collection services for use in developing new infrastructure
schemes. Traffic data collection is a specialist service for public and private sector
clients that allows traffic engineers and transportation planners to evaluate
proposed improvements to infrastructure and public transport services. The data is
used to assess the feasibility of proposals, as well as the potential benefits they will
bring. Existing traffic data is also an essential requirement for planning applications
for a wide range of developments.
Our main focus is providing quantitative data to clients for major road schemes,
specialising in large-scale traffic and transportation surveys, which include vehicle
and pedestrian counts, interviews, public transport surveys and journey time
assessments. We collect data for a range of different infrastructure schemes,
including roads, railways and bus corridors. We strive to provide clients with
FACTS ABOUT
NATIONWIDE DATA COLLECTION
»Managing Director:
GerardO’Regan
»Founded in 2008
»Based in Warwick with
offices in London, Yorkshire,
Scotland, Ireland and Deventer
»Services: Traffic data collection
and market research for traffic
engineering
»No. of employees: 90
permanent, with an average
of 400 casual staff every
month
»No. of clients: 350
Nationwide Data
Collection
21NATIONWIDE DATA COLLECTION |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
accurate data in a timely and cost-
effective manner. Our experienced
staff work alongside our clients to
ensure that the data provided meets or
exceeds their expectations.
Embracing new technology
Increasing developments in digital
technology have enabled us to
make major advances in the way
we collect traffic data. Traditionally,
the vast majority of traffic data
was collected manually by traffic
enumerators at the roadside. This
process has been significantly
innovated. We now use automatic
number plate recognition technology
to track vehicle movements, and
high-definition video cameras have
now become standard tools in the
industry. These improvements allow
us to provide more accurate data in a
shortertimeframe.
We are one of the main data providers
for traffic consultants working on
a variety of national infrastructure
developments, including HS2. Our data
is rigorously checked to ensure it is
robust, accurate and able to withstand
inevitable scrutiny.
Adapting to changing
regulations
The most recent change in the industry
has come about with the introduction
of GDPR, which came into effect in
May 2018. This change in legislation
required us to re-evaluate the way
we collected and stored our data,
to ensure that no personal data was
gathered without the individual’s
consent. This mainly affected the
information we collected through our
ANPR, interview and video surveys.
To adapt to these new requirements,
we developed a number of privacy
impact assessments to ensure
full adherence to the regulations.
Although some of our service remains
unaffected, these changes are essential
to remain compliant.
We cater for a broad range of
customers. These include private
individuals, small planning practices,
local governments and many major
public agencies, including the
Highways Agency, the Department
for Transport, Transport Scotland and
Transport for London. The vast majority
of our work is commissioned by traffic
Video surveying
We are one of
the main data
providers for
traffic
consultants
working on a
variety of
national
infrastructure
developments,
including HS2
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | NATIONWIDE DATA COLLECTION
consultants who are themselves usually
employed by public bodies to evaluate
road or public transport schemes.
One of the greatest challenges
we face is the need to maintain
our high standard of service with
decreasing budgets and demanding
timescales. Clients working on
major infrastructure schemes often
seek to minimise expenditure on
data collection – an essential part
of the modelling process that is
used to justify the necessity of these
schemes. The economic crisis of 2008
introduced severe cutbacks, and, in a
lot of situations, we are still living with
the effects of this.
To overcome these issues, we
endeavour to engage with our
clients at the earliest possible stage
of a project to identify the data
requirements. This helps to ensure
that adequate funds and timescales
can be agreed. Providing accurate
data is essential, as the traffic models
subsequently developed underpin
the entire infrastructure project.
Themodelling will eventually be used
to justify these projects before a
publicinquiry.
Working with successive
governments
The vast majority of transport funding
flows from central government and is
the lifeblood of our business. We have
no political affiliation, and changes in
government have generally brought
benefits to the transport business.
Different governments will have
different infrastructure preferences
and objectives, whether this be greater
investment in rail and bus services
or road building. These preferences
do not greatly affect us: the crucial
element is that funding is provided for
transport. We will work with whatever
the priority of the current government
happens to be. All major infrastructure
projects, no matter their specific nature,
will generally require some type of
data collection, so we are well placed
to assist the government and their
consultants on a wide range ofprojects.
Although we operate in an
international market, we do not
believe that our business will be
severely impacted by Brexit, as the vast
majority of our turnover stems from
business conducted in the UK. We are
therefore very confident that we will
emerge unscathed.
We began trading in September
2008, which was the precise start
of the major economic crisis. We
have endured many years of difficult
trading conditions, which saw several
of our more established competitors
fold. We take pride in the fact that
we were able to survive this difficult
period and look forward to expanding
our business in the coming years. We
aim to keep growing in the UK and
to make further inroads into Europe,
following our successful first step into
the Netherlands.
This change in
legislation
required us to
re-evaluate
the way we
collected and
stored our
data, to ensure
that no
personal data
was gathered
without the
individual’s
consent
Roadside interview
survey

www.nationwidedatacollection.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister