The first intelligent transport system (ITS) solution enabling real-time journey information from the UK’s National Traffic Operations Centre (NTOC) to be displayed on portable variable message signs (VMS) has been deployed on the largest scheme in Highways England’s current program.
Mobile Visual Information System’s (MVIS) DATEX Journey Time Solution (JTS) is enabling an average of 85,000 drivers daily who use the 21 mile-long (33.8km) stretch of road involved in the £1.5bn (US$1.9bn) A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade scheme, to navigate the roadworks easily and efficiently, minimizing journey disruption.
Due to finish in 2020, the scheme includes a new bypass to the south of Huntingdon, carriageway widening on the existing A14, and improvements to the Cambridge northern bypass. The project also includes junction improvements, the widening of the A1 trunk road and new local access roads, the removal of the viaduct over the East Coast Main Line railway at Huntingdon, and the modification of road connections to the existing A14 from within the town.
The A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT), working on behalf of Highways England (HE), contracted MVIS to deploy its largest DATEX JTS to date, incorporating 26 VMS. The Bartco UK VMS-Cs display journey times from their locations to the end of the affected stretch of road, informing drivers of the predicted journey duration and if possible, enabling them to select alternative routes.
The journey times shown are calculated using DATEX II actual journey time data collected from in-vehicle sensors and relayed by NTOC. These times are renewed every five minutes. The messages displayed replicate precisely those shown on HE’s fixed signs, promoting better continuity and ease of motorist interpretation than has previously been available, when information featured on temporary VMS has not been generated by NTOC.
“MVIS’s pioneering DATEX JTS enables us to provide accurate and easily interpreted journey time information to drivers as they navigate the stretch of road on which we are working,” explained the A14 IDT’s project director, Mark Berg. “Together with Highways England, we aim to optimize road users’ experience, and this new solution is helping us to achieve that objective as we strive to deliver long-term improvements to this exceptionally busy route.”
Graeme Lee, MVIS’ sales manager, commented, “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to implement our new solution on such a significant project. We’ve built a strong reputation both for innovation and trustworthy delivery, and it’s a pleasure to deploy both on this considerable scheme.”