National Highways digitalises its National Traffic Information Service

National Highways is the government company charged with operating, maintaining and improving England’s motorways and major A roads. Operating the National Traffic Information Service (NTIS), National Highways provides real-time information on traffic on England’s motorways and major roads.

For operating and enhancing this service, National Highways has awarded Sopra Steria a five year contract to Transform the service. This change of responsibilities was first motivated by service excellence, and secondly by a wider ambition to modernise its system through a large, complex digital transformation program, embedded into the UK National Digital Twin strategy going forward. 

Enhancing the user experience, the first milestone of National Highways 

National Highways operates, maintains and improves England’s motorways and major A roads. Its road network totals around 4,300 miles (6,920 km), carrying a third of all traffic by mileage and two thirds of all heavy goods traffic in England. Beyond these three main activities, National Highways is committed to a roadmap to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The National Traffic Information Service (NTIS) helps road users plan their journeys, avoid delays and stay safe by providing the latest information to their journey planning website ‘TrafficEngland.com’ and to the electronic message signs on the network. Relying on a decade-old platform, the service was lacking of agility and ability to scale.

To ameliorate the user experience of the NTIS, Sopra Steria has implemented a 4 and half-month transition program. Due to the nature of information and 24/7 highways activities, this transition had been operated without impacting the availability of the NTIS.

A commitment Digital Transformation Services  

Sopra Steria has envisioned, designed and will implement a new Digital Platform that provides traffic information and travel advice to Highways England roadside LED signs, service websites, mobile apps and data feed APIs. The Digital Platform collects traffic event information from multiple data sources, including third-party in-vehicle data and more than 10,000 roadside sensors. Sopra Steria has teamed up with Microsoft and selected Azure PaaS Services such as Azure Maps, with a large element of Machine Learning. The clear aim is to improve the business agility for providing digital-age services to motorists, communities and businesses, while supporting ever-evolving business needs. Highways England now leverage expertise from Sopra Steria’s Cloud Shared Services with the transformed solution being built on Microsoft Azure – this cloud adoption enhances the scalability of NTIS through on-demand, automated and secure services, whilst reducing carbon consumption by using the latest technologies.

“It is very important that drivers have the right information to help them to make choices about their journeys and reduce congestion. Sopra Steria will develop the already excellent service for everyone who uses our roads.” 

Meryl Roberts, National Highways’s Operations and Performance team leader.

 

Benefits

For the IT Department

For Business teams

  • Better business agility to faster release features and fix bugs
  • A scale up and down capacity aligned with the volatility of business
  • High-availability services
  • Improvement of user experience through better service availability, and Quality of Service 
  • Sustainable IT thanks to Cloud reduced carbon emissions compared to on-premise
  • A future-proofed platform

Key Figures

  • 4,300 miles (6,920 km), carrying a third of all traffic by mileage and two thirds of all heavy goods traffic in England 
  • Seamless transition performed in 4 and half months
  • Complete transformation of the NTIS platform, user experience and services
  • Contribution to the 75% reduction in the company’s own carbon emissions by 2025