Highways agency signs £8m managed communications services deal

Command, control and communications services supporting new traffic officers are to be managed by IT services company...

Command, control and communications services supporting new traffic officers are to be managed by IT services company Computacenter, under a five-year deal with the UK’s Highways Agency.

Under the managed service contract, which is worth more than £8m, Computacenter will deliver a range of IT services in partnership with information and communications technology specialist Vivista to support the IT infrastructure at the agency’s new Regional Control Centres.

The seven centres are a core part of a new Highways Agency service for England’s motorways, which is expected to reduce congestion by 5% in the next five years.
Ian Chalmers, Highway’s Agency technology team leader for the Regional Control Centres, said: “Staff at the centres will be responsible for a number of services that will help to manage incidents and keep traffic moving on the country’s 4,800 miles of motorway. As a result the systems they use need to be continuously available and highly resilient.”

More than 300 control centre staff will eventually use the system, which will enable them to dispatch traffic officers to incidents. The command and control centre infrastructure is based on a clustered Sun Microsystems and HP server backend, which was configured by Computacenter to ensure what it says is maximum resilience.

HP desktops are also being used by the control centre staff, along with bespoke command and communications solutions from Vivista. Meanwhile the 1,000 traffic officers will be equipped with Sepura Airwave radio terminals.

All these technologies will be supported under the managed service, which will go live in Spring 2005 along with the first regional control centre in the West Midlands. “By partnering with experienced IT service providers, we are able to reduce the risks and costs associated with managing the new system,” said Chalmers.

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