July 12th - there seem to be a lot of traffic surveys going on in South Staffordshire at the moment. Lots of back lanes seem to have the familiar rubber pickups nailed to the asphalt, just like this one in Gravelley Lane, between Shenstone and Stonnall. These devices count vehicles, and many modern ones take a punt at guessing what yore driving. The black cables are actually flexible, soft pipes, sealed at one end (usually by tying it in a simple knot). Any vehicle tyre running over the pipe causes the air pressure to rise within, and activates a pressure switch in the counter. By analysing the number of pulses and distance apart in time, many units can now tell the difference between HGV’s passing and normal cars. This device is probably installed for a routine traffic survey, and will soon be moved to a different spot. Surveys like this are regularly taken by councils.