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Data analysis to improve M6 Toll journeys

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Midland Expressway, the owner and operator of the M6 Toll road, has partnered with data solutions business Sagacity to carry out detailed analysis of traffic patterns and levels as lockdown eases across the UK.

By using data more effectively, Midland Expressway says it can develop products and offers for regular users of the road.

A new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) based transformational tolling system is currently being trialled with HGV fleets, as part of the ‘Road Ahead’ strategy to enhance the road-user experience and transform the existing tolling infrastructure.

Gavin Revell, CIO at Midland Expressway, said: “The effective use of data will be increasingly critical as we see a recovery to pre-COVID-19 traffic levels and the lifting of travel restrictions, coupled with the trend for staycations.

“Working with Sagacity to put data to even better use will ensure we continue to develop products, offers and incentives that provide extra flexibility, convenience and value to those using the M6toll road. That’s both for regular local journeys, and for the 70% of M6toll traffic that uses the road for travelling through the region.

“Like any progressive business, we know that data is an asset. By working with Sagacity, we are harnessing internal and external data, making it work even harder for us going forward.”

Sagacity implemented the new system during the first half of 2021, enabling Midland Expressway to fully analyse the Covid-19 recovery across the wider network, and the impact this was having on the M6 Toll. Reporting processes have also been made faster, more accurate and more secure.

Increasing amounts of external data will be pulled into the system, with intelligence from traffic capture data and Google providing “crucial” insights over journey times, traffic density and speed and volume of vehicles on the road.

“Now teams across the business will have the power to access timely, accurate insights without needing to always call upon the help of an analyst,” explained Chris Stephenson, technical director at Sagacity.

“Increasing numbers of businesses are appreciating the importance of quickly assessing data to monitor trends. Many of them are realising that in order to gain rapid access and application of data, existing manual processes and traditional methods of data capture are no longer fit for purpose. A digital core connecting all the dots empowers businesses to become more intelligent, think about the bigger picture, stay one step ahead of competitors, and adapt quickly to disruption.”

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