Mott MacDonald to upgrade Tyne and Wear’s regional UTMC system


Multidisciplinary UK consultancy Mott MacDonald has been appointed by five councils in the northeastern Tyne and Wear region to refresh and upgrade their urban traffic management and control (UTMC) system.

The five authorities covered by the contract are Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, and Sunderland, which together with Durham and Northumberland, form the North East Combined Authority (NECA). In October, NECA announced that they planned to spend £3.64m (US$4.8m) upgrading traffic management technology to sit under the UTMC, including £2.8m (US$3.7m) from the Department for Transport (DfT), as part of the UK Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund. The funding will be used to upgrade traffic signals on key regional routes with Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) cameras, Variable Message Signs (VMS) and integration with public transport data from Nexus, the region’s transit operator.

The UTMC upgrade will help the councils support their main policy objectives of improving safety and air quality, network monitoring, and offering informed travel choices, as well as incident and event planning and management. The current Osprey Tyne and Wear UTMC system, which Mott MacDonald has provided since 2010, monitors the busiest and strategically most important parts of the region’s road transport network. This accounts for over 750,000 vehicle movements per day and more than 11,000 incidents, collisions and events annually.

For the upgrade, Mott MacDonald will deliver the latest version of its Osprey UTMC product. In addition to existing functionality, it will include significant improvements to strategic planning and reporting tools. The three main Osprey modules support control room staff in network management, promote offline analysis of data, and provide a platform for delivery of information to the travelling public. The project will be delivered over multiple phases. Initial implementation of the new Osprey system is due for completion early next year, with further phases to be completed by the end of 2018. The contract also includes an additional five years of system support, until 2023.

“We are looking forward to working with the Tyne and Wear local authorities to enhance their Osprey functionality, such as dashboard views, historic data display, and strategy implementation,” explained Craig Morrison, Mott MacDonald’s project director. “This will make it easier for their control room operators to implement actions to improve traffic flows, which in turn will reduce congestion for the benefit of commuters within the region.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).