The National Traffic Information Service (NTIS) is the service within the Highways Agency that is responsible for managing England’s motorways and all-purpose trunk roads.
In 2011, Thales UK and Mouchel, the infrastructure and business services group, formed a joint partnership (Network Information Services Ltd) specifically to provide NTIS to meet the ever-changing needs and increasingly complex challenges of Britain’s roads. This meant replacing the traffic data processing and publication elements of the old National Traffic Control Centre with a single, highly efficient and integrated system.
Making a difference to motorists every day
Thanks to Thales’s application of technology and expertise, NTIS now supports the provision of real time traffic information to the millions of road users using motorways and trunk roads across England. This vital information is available to motorists via roadside electronic message signs, digital radio and numerous online information feeds (such as Travel England, Travel Information Highway (TIH) community, the Atlas Pro website, and in User Guides). The information also supports the Highways Agency Information Line (HAIL) dedicated to receiving calls from members of the public.
NTIS information also feeds into Transport Direct, an online resource for planning road travel and alternative transport methods according to up-to-the-minute, highly accurate data. Transport Direct even shows CO₂ levels for different forms of transport, and is available on desktop computers, smartphones, and many in-vehicle satellite navigation systems. Travel news broadcasting on national and regional radio and television also uses Transport Direct.
Thales’s input enables the following NTIS capabilities:
- Collecting and processing data for planned events and conditions, such as major cultural or sporting events, roadworks, abnormal loads and severe weather.
- Collecting and processing data for unplanned incidents, such as reactive roadworks, unanticipated weather, abnormal loads and congestion.
- Assessing the effect these have on traffic flow, and providing journey time predictions so Highways Agency operations staff can make better decisions.
- Activating appropriate responses to the knowledge its data creates, including dynamic signing of traffic diversions, and dispatching Highways Agency Traffic Officers to deal with incidents.
- Disseminating collated data and information for the Highways Agency, to help it assess overall performance.
- Supporting business infrastructure and service management.