Highways England has identified the continuing need for innovative technology to keep road users safe and informed by unveiling a new contract to improve the highways communications network.
Through its National Roads Telecommunications Service (NRTS), Highways England has let a second contract out that will not only provide more reliable journeys; it will also reduce congestion and help those drivers who are stranded on the network.
Prior to Christmas, the second NRTS contract, worth £450 million, was awarded. The NTRS connects the seven regional control centres of Highways England, as well as the national traffic operations centre and significantly, the 30,000+ roadside technology assets that are crucial in bringing better user experience on the motorways.
The second contract, awarded to telent Technology Services Ltd, will upgrade much of the highways communications network. This will result in significant renewals of message signs, CCTV cameras and roadside telephones.
With smart motorways now making great progress, the highways communications network and its importance is magnified, with the installation of new electronic signs that inform drivers about the speeds they should be travelling. This improves experience, reduces congestion and makes the network much safer.
Renewed message signs will be able to provide real time information, warn of any hazards, and of the journey times on all areas of the network.
According to Tony Malone, Chief Information Officer at Highways England, the focus on this aspect of the motorway network will guarantee operation on safe roads for drivers.
He said: “Safety is at the heart of everything we do and this network, the central nervous system for England’s motorways, enables us to operate safe roads.
“We are pleased to be working with telent Technology Services to deliver the reliability, resilience and innovation that will enable us to keep drivers safe and informed on our roads.”
The contract will run for seven years, starting in mid-March.