Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has launched an app for visitors to check on which of its beaches are the least congested. With lockdown easing and many people opting to holiday in the UK this year, the Council expects an influx of tourists and day trippers to the award-winning beaches in the area.
The Beach Check app is available in Google Play and the Apple App store and provides a traffic light system helping both visitors and residents avoid busy hotspots.
Data is provided through several sources, including CCTV, video analytics and the Council’s team of Beach Rangers, however an innovative solution was required to provide coverage along the full length of the beach, particularly where no fixed infrastructure exists.
The Council turned to the ‘Internet of Things’ – selecting low-power sensors which measure local beach occupancy and feedback data in real time using the Vodafone NB-IoT network.
Xavier Nuñez, Smart Place Digital Innovation Lead at BCP Council commented: “We needed a solution that would allow us to survey, install and monitor the array of IoT sensors across the length of the beach. With over 20 devices now deployed, the Daizy platform interprets the data and integrates directly with our Enterprise Service Bus to publish occupancy information into the Beach Check App”.
Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “The timing is great to have this beach check app for the start of summer. It’s free and easy to download and helps people find the right spots with less congestion. We’re also adding a lot more so that people can find parking places and toilets, places to eat and attractions on offer.
“As with all apps, we encourage feedback to help us improve it and turn it into something really valuable for our resort. It’s part of our offer to help people stay safe and have a great time.
“If we can help other local authorities avoid the hardship we endured in the summer of 2020 then we will have done our bit in minimising the spread of Covid-19 while at the same time helping those champing at the bit for a break-away some well-earned time off and peace of mind.”
Håkan Cronqvist, VP Business Development at Daizy commented: “The Beach Check App demonstrates the value of an open approach to Enterprise IoT. BCP Council has already successfully launched solutions for air quality monitoring, traffic counting and High Street footfall using the Daizy platform. Rolling out an additional use case was a straightforward process at a low cost.
BCP Council has said its Beach Check app is to be rolled out nationally with the support from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
About BCP Council
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is the UK’s newest city region and it’s brimming with prospects, positivity and pride.
It’s a place where culture and heritage meet innovation and modernity, village meets town, country meets coast, creativity meets digital, businesses flourish and people thrive.
BCP is the tenth-largest urban local authority in England and our communities are vibrant and diverse, with an outstanding quality of life, where everyone plays an active role – a globally-recognised coastline of opportunity, where people love to live, learn, work, explore, invent, relax and play.
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