Partnerships are central to the Highways Agency’s business. Without their input its mission to get up-to-the-minute traffic information out to motorists would be extremely difficult.
These partnerships help share data and resources, such as variable message signs, with other organisations to ensure motorists have the latest available information.
This year at Civils 2008 the Highways Agency will be promoting a number of real time traffic information services, which can help improve the efficiency of your business.
Atlas Pro is a free traffic information service designed specifically for day-to-day use by professional users. The information is text based and much more detailed than the information provided to the general public via its website. You can view average speeds on any particular stretch of motorway, see what is currently being displayed on any variable message sign and gain access to unconfirmed incident reports for early warnings. The system also contains a city/time grid which gives you current travel times between 14 major destinations in England. You can even personalise the information within Atlas Pro so that you only view what is of use to you. This information can also be sent to you using an RSS feed – immediately warning of any incidents within your area. The RSS feed may be of particular use to you if you wish to broadcast traffic information on customer displays or give the latest travel headlines to your employees. Atlas Pro is used by radio stations up and down the country as well as local authorities, logistics controllers and fleet managers. Users of the service require a username and password to access the service. If you are interested, contact the Highways Agency.
The success of any event can often be judged on how easy it was to get to and from the venue. The Highways Agency can contribute to traffic management plans, provide historic traffic information to aid planning, give you practical advice on issues such as approach routes and provision of traffic information and let you know about any other events running in the area at the same time. For larger events, such as last year’s “V” Festivals in Essex and Staffordshire and similar music festivals in Leeds and Reading, the Highways Agency can also use its traffic officers to assist with traffic management and its variable message signs to give information to motorists in the area in the weeks leading up to the event. If you are holding a large event please get in contact with the Highways Agency and see how it can help.
Building your own traffic information system
The Highways Agency can also directly supply data feeds of its traffic information via system-to-system links to enable you to design or build your own traffic information system or enrich your current data. Directly importing our data will save time by avoiding the need to manually key in new information while allowing your operators to continue to use the system with which they are familiar. Local authorities, media organisations and major traffic generators have all found this service useful so if you are interested get in touch.
How can you get involved?
The Highways Agency’s services are particularly useful to travel providers (such as ports and airports), emergency services, haulage firms, entertainment and sports venues, shopping centres and large organisations with over 500 employees. Many simply want to provide customers or staff with real time travel information. The Agency’s seven regional liaison officers act as a single contact point for partners. It also holds free regional roadshows with demonstrations of our real time traffic information services. Last year it held roadshows in Coventry, Castleford and Cumbria amongst others. Forthcoming events are to be held in Derby, Manchester, Bristol and Heathrow T5. If you are interested in attending any of these events, or to find out if there is an event in your area please contact the Highways Agency Information Line (HAIL) on 08457 50 40 30, quoting Project Outreach or email us at email@example.com.