Headlines: February 10th, 2004

As private sector organizations claim that travel disruptions are delaying managers at a cost of more than 2 million working-hours per week, the Department for Transport has signed a contract for detailed traffic data to be provided from satellite navigation systems fitted in over 50,000 private and commercial vehicles.A survey by the Chartered Management Institute found that it takes the majority of managers more than half an hour to make their 10 miles or less journey to work. The research goes on to reveal that 79 per cent of managers have missed vital meetings and nearly one-fifth (17 per cent) also claim to have lost business opportunities because of transport disruption. The impact of these delays is being keenly felt in the workplace with 21 per cent of managers reporting a decline in their productivity and 35 per cent admitting to increased levels of irritability at work.

The satellite data which is now being provided monthly will also include records dating back to 2001. It is claimed that the data will dramatically improve congestion monitoring, especially in urban areas. At the moment, speed estimates are available for limited parts of the network (eg from roadside cameras on trunk roads) or from specially commissioned, ‘floating car’ surveys. The contract for the data has been signed with ITIS Holdings PLC at a cost of 1.25m pounds in the first year and 1m pounds per annum for the following two years.

The data will be made available by the DfT free of charge to the Highways Agency, Transport Direct and local councils.