Highways Agency
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Sat nav company makes Highways Agency data available to road users ahead of summer holidays

Sat nav company makes Highways Agency data available to road users ahead of summer holidays

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 12 July 2011

The Highways Agency has reached agreement with TomTom to feed up to date traffic information from England’s motorways and major A roads into its sat nav services for road users.

The Highways Agency, which manages the 4,300-mile strategic road network, collects data on traffic flows from sophisticated monitoring equipment built into the road surface, backed up by CCTV and other sources.

This data, which is already provided to drivers through the Agency’s own channels, will be fed to TomTom for its High Definition Traffic Services and is expected to be particularly beneficial to families heading off on holiday over the next few months.

Roads Minister Mike Penning says:

“Through our national traffic control centre, we source up to the minute traffic data from the motorways and other major roads we manage, and we want to get that information out to road users where and when they need it most.

“This agreement between the Highways Agency and TomTom is a good example of public and private sectors working together to assist road users and exploit today’s technology.

”We work with third party organisations to get our information to as wide an audience as possible. We have also shared our information with GoogleMaps™ and the BBC who provide our traffic camera images so road users can check on the internet before they leave. We look forward to working with other partners in the future.”

The Highways Agency is an established traffic information provider, with its own live traffic updates fed through on platforms such as its own and third party websites, as well as feeding data to mobiles, iPhone, digital information screens and Twitter.

The Highways Agency provides its traffic information to TomTom™ in a Datex II format, which it helped develop as a European standard specifically for road data information exchange. The Agency data provides real-time traffic information and predictions based on past conditions, helping road users to plan their journeys to avoid congestion.

The data, provided by the Agency’s National Traffic Control Centre in Birmingham, is also used to populate the Highways Agency’s own website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic. Using this site, drivers can see current and predicted driving conditions, view what is currently being displayed on electronic motorway signs and even tell the average traffic speed between any two junctions on the motorway network.




Notes to Editors

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England’s motorways and other strategic roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2. For more information about TomTom please contact Rosie Tickner, PR Manager, on 020 7529 8419 or rosie.tickner@tomtom.com.

3. Real-time traffic information for England’s motorways and other strategic roads is available:

- From the web at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or www.highways.gov.uk/mobile if using a phone or mobile device.
- By phone from the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 at any time. (Calls to 0300 numbers will cost no more than 5p per minute from a standard BT residential landline. Call charges from other landlines and mobile networks may vary, but will be no more than a standard geographic call and will be included in all inclusive minutes and discount schemes).
- Before using any mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency. Make sure it’s safe and legal before you call.
- From our Traffic Radio service, available on DAB digital radio and the internet at www.trafficradio.org.uk To tune into the DAB service, simply press the "scan" button on your radio. The radio will tune into all available channels and you can select the new service by scrolling through the channels until you reach "Traffic Radio".
- From Twitter on one of eight separate feeds with live traffic information for each region - for the full index visit www.highways.gov.uk/twitter

4. Receive our national and regional press releases by RSS and get the latest headlines straight to your desktop the moment we publish them to our website. Choose to receive a national press feed or one of our regionalised feeds - go to www.highways.gov.uk/rssnews for more information.

Contacts:

Mik Barton.
Phone: 075 5445 8909
mik.barton@highways.gsi.gov.uk

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