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19 March 2012

Mott MacDonald’s Tyne and Wear Urban Traffic Management and Control system now fully operational

A visionary regional Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) system for Tyne and Wear local transport plan partners is now fully operational, benefiting thousands of commuters across the region. One of the first in the country to integrate, manage and monitor traffic flow across local authority boundaries, the scheme uses Mott MacDonald’s UTMC product Osprey which is used in 14 areas across the UK.

The system is operated by the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (ITA), and covers the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sunderland City councils, metropolitan boroughs of Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, and the Passenger Transport Executive. Since June 2011 the scheme has gradually been introduced, helping to ease congestion.

Mott MacDonald’s UTMC platform integrates numerous existing transport systems, such as car park, automatic number plate recognition, roadworks and meteorological monitoring, while providing a rich set of management and control functionality, establishing a cohesive view of the transport network across the region from a single regional control centre based at Newcastle University. Control room operators have access to the system via the common data viewer allowing them to monitor the network and implement strategies for the benefit of the travelling public.

Newcastle councillor David Wood, chair of the ITA, said of the project’s wide benefits: “The first major success of the project was managing the high volumes of traffic into Gateshead’s Metrocentre during the busy Christmas and New Year period, by reducing congestion on approach roads and improving the overall experience for shoppers. Going forward it will play a key role in special events coming into the region, including the torch relay and football tournament prior to and during the Olympics.”

Mott MacDonald’s project manager, Rob McDonald, said: “We are delighted to reach a key milestone of this exciting project which is benefiting the region’s travelling public. The system integrates a wide range of data from across the region, and provides a range of management and control functionality via desktop and web-based clients.”

UTMC project manager Ray King said: “The system is especially helpful at the time of big events such as football matches at St James’ Park or music concerts. Part of it is about control and the other part is to get information out to the public.”

Data collected from Osprey will be circulated in several ways, including via a dedicated public access traffic and travel information website: http://www.tyneandweartravel.info

Mott MacDonald has an ongoing role to provide continuing support on the project until 2015.


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