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The Highways Agency

Better traffic data

Brief

The Highways Agency (HA) is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the motorways and trunk roads in England. Access to high-quality traffic data is crucial for managing this network and for tracking overall performance in improving journey time reliability. Cambridge Consultants has supported the HA in significantly improving traffic data provision across the business, whilst simultaneously cutting operational costs.

Approach

Cambridge Consultants adopted a radical multiphase programme of work to improve traffic data provision through a set of five workstreams, including changes to the telemetry from roadside equipment. This would involve co-operation across different operational divisions of the HA in order to deliver the benefits, and would provide improved data quality and timeliness, as well as cutting contractual costs. It ultimately gave the HA intelligence community access to data at unprecedented levels.

The recommended programme was taken forward, with programme management and co-ordination provided by Cambridge Consultants. The programme delivered on time and on budget, and improved service delivery whilst simultaneously cutting costs.

Benefit

Benefits included contractual rationalisation, with a significant long-term reduction in maintenance costs, higher quality and more granular traffic data, more timely data delivery, significant health and safety benefits from remote data collection, and improved traffic appraisal and modelling as a result of the improved data.

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In recognition of the contribution made by Cambridge Consultants to improving traffic data provision, we received a commendation from the HA for our project management of the data capture infrastructure intervention in the agency's Reliability Delivery Plan.

The views contained here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Highways Agency.