G4S combines people & technology to secure Danish bridge

London, UK and Copenhagen, Denmark

When it was completed in 1998 it was the longest bridge in the World at 18Km.

The Storebælt Link in Denmark straddles the Storebælt strait - or Great Belt in English- a stretch of water which divides Denmark into two. Danes are extremely proud of their bridges, which are some of the greatest civil engineering wonders of the modern world.  G4S has worked with bridge owner and operator A/S Storebælt, a subsidiary of the Danish state-owned Sund & Bælt Holding A/S, since 2016, managing and securing the toll operation. G4S had its contract renewed for a further three years in 2020, the first existing supplier to have done so on the project.

When it first opened on 14 June 1998, the Storebælt link, which consists of a rail tunnel and road bridge, was the longest in the world at 18 kms, and today the bridge and the toll operation ensures the smooth and efficient movement of up to 56,000 vehicles a day.

G4S manages the toll operation of the bridge which connects Zealand to Funen. The toll plaza has 12 lanes on the westbound side and 10 lanes on the eastbound. These are all located in Zealand. Drivers from Zealand go through the plaza before crossing and those driving from Funen make their payment once across.

“When a driver has difficulty making a payment or if there is a technical issue, G4S team members led by our traffic manager, are on hand to talk remotely to the driver using a voice link,” said Brian Zimmerman, the department manager at the Great Belt Bridge for G4S. “We can also turn on the video monitoring in any particular lane so we can see the payment machine and help the person remotely, so there is no need to go to the lane in person.”

The operation has changed substantially over the last three years, with the implementation of a new technology system, which G4S has worked with A/S Storebælt to ensure it works accurately. This is part of A/S Storebælt’s digitalisation strategy to improve the safety and security of drivers and employees alike. It has transformed the safety and physicality of the working conditions for G4S professionals, who prior to this system’s operation, could walk up to 12 kms in an 8-hour shift, helping drivers with their payments.

The combination of skilled G4S employees and the technology provided by A/S Storebælt, means that up to 6,000 vehicles per hour can pass through the toll plaza. The record for a single hour is 5,600 vehicles.

“We’ve worked hard to deliver excellent customer service. Technological advances have brought great health and safety benefits to our employees by removing the need for them to physically be at the plaza. Previously this work was extremely strenuous and the improvements have increased the well being of G4S employees,” said Brian Zimmerman, the department manager at the bridge for G4S.

“This is testament to the commitment of the team to build a partnership of trust and respect with our customer,” said Julian Rudland, Director of Manned Service for G4S in Denmark, commenting on the operation and on the extension of the contract. “We are completely focused on 100% cooperation, working hand-in-hand at all times with the Storebælt team to ensure that any operational issues are solved quickly and we provide a very high standard of service.”


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