Barrier Operation

The barrier system works by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) has been in use since March 2017 and although people have been in and out dozens of times, a high number of people are doing the most peculiar movements when entering or leaving the park. This is resulting in frustration for all parties involved and it shouldn’t be at all difficult.

Much thought was put in to this system to cause you, the caravan owner, the least inconvenience and this system is by far the best at achieving that from any of the caravan park entry systems that I have seen, certainly locally.

The yellow boxes have exactly the same meaning as on the highway. Worryingly, several people have stated that they don’t recognise what a yellow box is!

The general meaning is that you do not enter the yellow box unless your exit is clear. We have the added instruction that the barrier should also be in the down position. Why is it not acceptable to jump or tailgate through, I hear you ask?

1) The barrier system is there for your security and peace of mind so the car doing the tailgating will not be recorded. This flags as an unauthorised entry and that car could be anyone.

2) Should we ever have a call from the emergency services or a family member trying to contact someone, as has happened before, we would not be able to tell from the records who is likely to be on the park.

3) The imposed delay in waiting for the barrier to close, if it is open, allows any vehicle in front to safely clear the bend. A tailgating pair of vehicles, worse if a trio, on meeting someone leaving the park, causes a blockage and jams the whole thing up as those at fault cannot reverse back through the barrier.

 

Entry Procedure

1) If your entire entry route is completely clear and you are not exceeding 5mph, cross the yellow box and pull up at the barrier. That’s it and nothing more. It really is that simple!

2) If the barrier is up, or moving in either direction, or a car is visible ahead of you, then wait before the yellow box. Before means so that you can see it. Don’t sit with your wheels on it or past it.

3) When, or if, your route is clear and the barrier is down, cross the box and proceed up to the barrier smoothly, with no jiggering back and forth! The camera records and learns from your direction of travel and it expects the plate image to alter accordingly.

This is where drivers are carrying out almost courtship rituals with more steps than the okey-cokey. Why are cars stopping 20 feet back? Why pull up and stop with your front wheels on the box or just over it? Why sit as mentioned and shift back and forward a dozen times? These maneuvers do nothing and here’s why:

After the box is an induction loop in the road which detects the presence of the vehicle. Depending on that vehicle, this might detect you before you are actually over it. The yellow box is to keep you away by a minimum distance.

As you pass over the induction loop, the camera is triggered and runs for 1.5 seconds. During this time, it takes about 40 images as your vehicle gets closer to the barrier, each image being different to the one before as you are smoothly driving towards the barrier.

This is where it goes pear-shaped! If you stop on the loop, the camera gets 40 images all the same. If at that point it can’t make out the number, it has another 39 images that it can’t make out either. What happens as you drive closer, is that the images get bigger and maybe clearer from the cameras point of view, literally. It compares each and every image until it thinks it has read the plate correctly. This is then compared to the database and entry is granted or denied. At 5mph it takes roughly the 1.5 seconds to get to the barrier and by that time, the processing is near complete and the barrier should open with minimal delay.

The camera only runs, once triggered for 1.5 seconds. If you are jiggering about, after that 1.5 seconds, the camera has turned off so it doesn’t matter how much you go back and forth, the camera is off. You would have to go right back over the yellow box and start again. By the time you have done all that, cars will be behind you and  you have caused a problem.

It’s far easier and more straight forward to do it right the first time and everything works 99% fine.

There have been occasions, particularly with low sun, that glare can bounce of the bonnet and obliterate part of the number plate. With the amount of variables involved with that, it can’t be helped. If you have difficulty, just use the intercom.

The pre-requisite for all of this is that the number plate must be legal to BS AU145d and be in good condition. This BS number will be marked on the plate.  Should we be called to open the barrier for a non-specification plate or a plate showing damage, we will expect it to be replaced without delay. Subsequent calls may be charged for as these are very disturbing especially out of hours.

 

Exit Procedure

Easy! If your path ahead is clear, and the barrier is down, just drive up to the barrier. As you pass the yellow box, like on entry, a loop in the road detects your vehicle passing. At the correct speed of 5mph maximum, as you get close to the barrier, it will already be opening. Wait until it is upright and pass under. The barrier is timed to allow for a trailer or similar and will close behind you.

If your path ahead is not clear, or the barrier is upright or moving, do not cross the yellow box but wait. This regulates traffic flow and makes sure that your exit travel is safe. Do not tailgate anyone out or drive under a moving barrier. This could prove very expensive, is dangerous and can force the barrier into a safe mode where upon it may remain open or closed until manually reset. Obviously this is unnecessary and can cause delays.

 

General

In the main, the system works well and has proven to be reliable. With the complexity of the system, there are times, especially if updates are downloaded, that the system can become unstable. Unfortunately Microsoft don’t give any notice of these downloads and they can cause the system to hang. Again, if you suspect something is wrong, use the intercom to gain access and we can then look into any issues.

To enable your visitors to gain access, you must contact us  ahead of time. Email is most convenient as it ensures the detail is recorded as sent, although quite often, what we are sent is wrong!

We require a name, make and model of the vehicle and colour. The relationship to the caravan owner, son, daughter, friend etc. Also, how long you want them added to the system, permanent, day, weekend etc. Please bear in mind that anyone entering the park should be with your knowledge or by your invitation.

Being on the system does not automatically give the right for use of the park, that is your privilege only as the caravan owner.

 No one can be in that much of a rush to save a few seconds and it is the other users who are experiencing longer delays if the system is abused. Please use the system properly.