Watching brief for England’s road network

The Highways Agency is currently procuring a CCTV system that will
enable Regional Traffic Control Centres to manage England’s trunk
network more effectively and efficiently.

Jul 12, 2007
By David Howell
L-R: PC Joe Swan, Sgt Thomas Neilson and Sgt Chris Smith

The system includes instation software, which enables Highways Agency operators to view and control cameras connected to the CCTV network across the country. The system is being built by a consortium of companies that include: Simulation Systems Ltd, Mapsolute and Ordnance Survey.

The Regional Traffic Control Centre Initiative combines the best new technologies and skills available from the public and private sectors, creating a new opportunity to provide core services, including traffic monitoring and control, driver information, emergency roadside telephone handling and network performance monitoring.

Barnaby Kent at Simulations Systems, said: “By having a comprehensive and detailed overview of the road network, the Highways Agency’s controllers will be in a much better position to assist in managing the traffic more effectively in the event of sudden changes in road traffic conditions or as part of a controlled process, such as strategic traffic management during busy periods. By having a better appreciation of traffic conditions and patterns, the Agency will also be in a better position to plan ahead, building up its knowledge of the road network in a way that wasn’t previously possible.”

Mapsolute are providing the mapping component of the system that includes a GUI
(Graphical User Interface) for users to navigate around a map of the country selecting different cameras to view and control. Simulation Systems Ltd is integrating a Mapsolute product into their software to provide this mapping functionality.

Chris Wallett, UK Managing Director of Mapsolute, said: “This is a great example of technologies coming together to make a very tangible and positive difference to the delivery of public services. As well as making roads safer, it’s crucial to the economy to ensure that the country’s roads are as free flowing as possible. By literally keeping an eye on the traffic from their computers, Highways Agency staff can make decisions within seconds and that will make a big difference to how the road network is managed.”

Paula Langford-Smith, Ordnance Survey’s Marketing Manager, said: “Mapping isn’t simply about finding your way from A to B. This type of application developed by our partner Mapsolute shows how Ordnance Survey data underpins many applications saving time and money, as well as improving safety.

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