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DfT pays out £3m to locate traffic hotspots

THE Government is to pay out more than £3 million to track thousands of company car drivers in a bid to locate congestion hotspots.

A total of 50,000 vehicles fitted with satellite navigation systems will be monitored to produce detailed reports on the pattern and location of congestion.

The Government aims to identify congestion hotspots with the information available for use by the Department for Transport (DfT), the Highways Agency, national travel information service Transport Direct and also local authorities.

The data will be supplied by ITIS Holdings, which operates the Floating Vehicle Data (FVD) system in tens of thousands of vehicles. The contract is worth £1.25 million in the first year and £1 million per year for the following two years.

ITIS chief executive Stuart Marks said: 'The Department for Transport oversees the delivery of a reliable, safe and secure transport system and, as congestion continues to affect journey times, we are delighted that our FVD will play an important part in decision-making at both national and local level.

'This contract proves without doubt the flexibility of FVD and our ability to support the commercial sector with real time information for services such as RDS TMC and the public sector in contracts such as this.'

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: 'The data that the DfT is buying will give both national and local government much better information on the pattern and location of congestion on urban and inter-urban roads.

'By improving our shared understanding of congestion, this new data will improve our collective ability to tackle it effectively. It will provide a strong basis for planning and managing the flow of traffic on England's roads.'

ITIS will provide information to the Government on a monthly basis and will also make available data it has collected since 2001.

Congestion fact file

2003 figures

  • Car traffic was 1% higher than in 2002
  • The estimated annual increase in light van traffic was 5%
  • Goods vehicle traffic was 1% higher than the previous year
  • Motorway traffic remained virtually unchanged between 2002 and 2003 Fourth quarter 2003
  • Estimated traffic levels rose by 1.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2003
  • Car traffic rose by about 1% during the same period
  • Light van traffic was 7% higher in the fourth quarter of 2003 than in the corresponding period of 2002
  • Goods vehicle traffic rose by 2% between the fourth quarters of 2002 and 2003
  • Traffic on minor rural roads rose by 6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2003
  • The annual increase in traffic on minor rural roads between 2002 and 2003 was only 1% These provisional figures indicate that estimated traffic levels rose by 1.4% between 2002 and 2003. This continues the estimated underlying growth rate of between 1% and 2% per annum since 1999.
    Source: Department for Transport

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