Highways England to splash £50m on new cloud-based traffic data platform
Highways England is preparing to spend £50m transforming the National Traffic Information Service (NTIS) – a platform that provides near real-time traffic data on the nation’s 4,300 miles of A-roads and motorways.
NTIS data is fed into satellite navigation systems, allowing drivers to plan their routes, while Highways England uses the service to guide the future development of the road network.
The current iteration of the service is nearly a decade old and Highways England is now seeking to develop a new cloud-based version of the platform.
“Procurement of the new traffic information service will include the continued operation of the existing service for a period of up to two years while the selected supplier renews and transforms the underlying information technology (IT) system to provide a modern, cloud-based equivalent that is fit for the future,” according to a pre-tender notice issued by Highways England.
The current version of NITS has been in place since 2011 and developed by NIS Ltd. It operates 24-7 all-year round, processing and analysing floating vehicle data and information collected from more than 10,000 roadside sensors.
The new system will be designed and implemented over a two-year period starting in May 2021. Highway England is hoping it will provide:
- “Improved availability and accessibility of traffic data and information to Highways England’s customers and internal business functions,
- a flexible and scalable cloud-based IT system that aligns to the UK Government’s Technology Code of Practice and makes best use of automation to improve efficiency of the service,
- improved collaboration with Highways England’s Regional Operations Centres (ROCs), strategic traffic operations team and the Customer Contact Centre (CCC), and
- removal of unused traffic data sources, including automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), and under-used output channels such as event emails.”
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