Castle Rock was founded in 1984 on the campus of the University of Nottingham, England. Corporate founder Peter Davies was Reader in Transportation Engineering and Director of the University of Nottingham's Transportation Research Group. Castle Rock Consultants (CRC) started as an offshoot of this Research Group, at first owned jointly by the University and key CRC staff members.
During the 1970s, the University Group had become a leader in the then-new field of microprocessor traffic monitoring: using portable, roadside electronics to count, classify, weigh, and measure vehicle speeds automatically. Major sponsors included the UK government's Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL) and private industry. In 1981, Dr. Davies developed a portable weigh-in-motion (WIM) system for Arizona DOT which was demonstrated on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson. The resulting interest led to significant FHWA funding for further work by the University Research Group.
Castle Rock's first contract was the 1984 Heavy Vehicle Electronic License Plate (HELP) system Feasibility Study, jointly funded by Arizona, Oregon and FHWA. This initial work provided the foundation for the $25M HELP Program/Crescent Project, a 10-year initiative that came to involve over 20 states. HELP/Crescent gave direction to Commercial Vehicle areas of the U.S. National ITS Program of the 1990s. The HELP pool-fund study retained CRC each year as program management consultant, and many of its states remain key CRC clients to this day.
Why the name Castle Rock?
I wonder how many times have we've been asked if the group started in Castle Rock, Colorado? Or, Castle Rock, Washington? Or Castle Rock, Arizona? It turns out there is a 'Castle Rock' in most western U.S. states, as well as under various British castles such as the one in Edinburgh, Scotland, and who knows where else.
Our Castle Rock name comes from Castle Rock, Nottingham. Yes, that's the castle the Sheriff of Nottingham used to live by, so Robin Hood could swing down from the castle walls to rescue fair damsels. It's a real castle dating from the time of William the Conqueror (the year 1068). Built into the rock is the "Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem Inn," a pub (still serving, since 1180) where knights assembled to go fight for the Holy Land. I was gazing out the window one day at the University, and thought it sounded solid, reliable and long-established. CRC had a nice ring to it as well, with vague computing overtones; so there it was!
—Peter Davies, CEO and Founder of Castle Rock