Headlines: August 29th, 2000

The Highways Agency is seeking a commercial partner to modernise the telecommunications network used to service and operate national roads. The agency’s national roads telecommunications network connects several thousand roadside devices including the signals, emergency telephones, variable message signs, traffic counting sites and monitoring cameras back to 32 police control offices in England.The project forms part of the Government’s 10 Year Plan to modernise transport systems, and follows a study indicating that the system is in need of investment. The proposals will help speed up the delivery of new technology on national roads to reduce congestion, improve safety and improve the reliability of journeys. They are also seen as a project of sufficient stature to help the United Kingdom’s position as a leader in information and communications technology.

The private sector partner will be able to develop commercial telecommunications services using spare capacity in the network. The partner will also be able to expand the network and provide a managed service for access to potential aerial sites by other telecommunications operators.