Key facts
Client: Highways England
Nine collaborators – One client, two contractors and five supply chain partners
4,300 miles of roads 
6,000 miles of communication network
• 30,000 roadside devices
• Ten years of operation
• Collaboration at the heart of all we do


Roadside Telecommunications: Maximising benefits and value

Highways England’s National Roads Telecommunications Service (NRTS) was established in 2005. A major contract that provides the vital telecommunication interconnectivity between the seven Regional Control Centres, the National Traffic Operations Centre and the 30,000 roadside assets which enables Highways England to operate, maintain and develop the strategic road network. For the past 12 years the contract services were provided by the GeneSYS consortia and today are delivered by telent following a recent competitive tender.

Since appointment in 2009, WSP has supported Highways England through the provision of specialist technical assurance to ensure that the operation, maintenance and development of the NRTS service was safe, fit for purpose and achieved value for money.

Our philosophy and approach has been focused on collaboration from the outset; collaboration from those in the consortia led by WSP to the client and the contractor, and we have executed with demonstrable success epitomizing what true collaboration and working in the best interests of the client means.

High-Calibre Specialists and Collaboration

 We pulled together highly skilled, culturally aligned and market-leading organisations to provide the ‘specialist assurance’ in the following areas; Technical, Contract, Design Review and Contract Procurement. We balanced all areas with critical analysis through an inclusive, integrated team focused on providing a continually improving service.

Fundamental to our success was embedding collaborative working. This has been supported by a partnership of equals in our supply chain and teaming agreements formalising the structure and commitment from each party to working together for the benefit of the service.

Our collaborative and partnership approach minimised conflict within our service by providing a process of arbitration for conflict. These arrangements worked tremendously well with client-recognised excellent performance for the past nine years.

With the challenge of geographically dispersed supply chain, client and contractor it has been imperative for all to interact virtually whilst balancing the needs of personal interaction – In support we were early adopters of SharePoint and media platforms such as Skype to foster the collaboration and improve the working environments.

Delivering value

The diverse nature of the specialist assurance and collaboration provided by WSP has meant that I have been able to access the right resource at the right time to meet the inherent challenges of managing a major national telecommunications contract. It’s clear that the collaborative environment has been fostered at both an operational and organisation level.
Kevin Hamer Highways England