Government commissions UTMC and data catalogue reviews


The Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) to carry out two reviews of potential major changes to the highways and transport data world.

TSC is looking into a potential national data catalogue - detailing all the key data sets and where to find them - and an update to the urban traffic management and control (UTMC) system.

UTMC is a set of standards developed by the private sector for traffic systems operations in the late 90s and noughties. The system provides inter-operability for local services from traffic lights to car parks, allowing for a common database where a local authority can integrate its services.

The system is likely to be overhauled according to senior figures in the DfT.

Speaking at the Local Government Technical Advisers Group (TAG) president's conference last month, Graham Hanson, ITS policy lead, traffic and technology division at the DfT said: ‘The opportunity is to create a bespoke system that will allow each local authority to deliver the services it wants in an open data platform.

'The current UTMC is very much focused on previous technology. Technology is moving forwards. We need to provide new services, connected services, with new standards. This would hopefully provide local authorities with what they need to develop new services.’

Transport Network was given an exclusive briefing from TSC on the two reviews:

Next Generation Local Authority Mobility Platform

Delivery scheduled: March 2019

The primary aim of this project is to drive consensus from Government, local authorities and industry for the vision and roadmap towards the next generation local authority mobility platform, featuring data sharing as a core principle.

Mobility platform is a working term for the next generation of UTMC. It is a way of describing a way of working rather than a central IT facility.

The TSC estimates that the world network management market will be valued at £94bn per year by 2025. If UK businesses were to capture just 5% of this market it would be worth £4.7bn per year. It is within the TSC’s remit to help UK businesses to access these market opportunities.

For the last two decades, UTMC has been the backbone on which local authorities have built their traffic management investments. However, the landscape of mobility is changing; increasingly, both individual passengers and companies demand for high- quality services, while the financial resources of local and central government are constantly under pressure.

Activities in the project:

  • Mapping the landscape of data platforms (existing and in development) against use cases and policy objectives of different teams in the DfT (and possibly other departments)
  • Developing a roadmap for the mobility platform in partnership with Government, local authorities and industry
  • Generating high-level architecture and functional specification for a mobility platform that builds on (or is backwards compatible with) UTMC
  • Developing an outline business case for full development and roll-out of the mobility platform.


  • Achieve a consensus on a vision for a Local Authority Mobility Platform of the future, building on the work that has already been undertaken by the DfT.
  • Provide a clear and visible plan of action to move towards a new Mobility Platform
  • Establish a joint government/ industry working group that can own and progress the roadmap
  • Develop a clear understanding of the transport data platform landscape and potential gaps.

National Access Point (NAP)

Delivery: March 2019

The TSC has been approached to carry out the foundation research necessary to support an outline business case for an open data directory.

The DfT is commissioning the TSC to undertake a high-level review of the status of the National Access Point (NAP). The output report will provide a brief update on the work that has been undertaken by several other European states including close consultation with DG Move aspirations, along with an update on the status of the UK in meeting future facilitation needs for open transport data sharing.

This review will inform an outline business case, advising what further work the DfT could potentially invest in. This is with the aim of ensuring that the UK is recognised in the area of open data facilitation to enable transportation systems data transfer nationally. The initial scope is limited to providing a detailed focus on road-based transport.

The review will also present an outline understanding of how other EU states are approaching current ITS directive requirements, as well as potential future inter-operability opportunities within the scope of UK NAP


  • Present a detailed status update of the progress the UK has made in support of an outline business case
  • UK NAP Gap analysis in terms of: compatibility, inter-operability and continuity for the deployment and operational. Informing a UK National requirement capture supporting the outline business case
  • Advise on any identified compliance issues with the delegated regulation requirements for NAP – such as licensing, permissions of usage etc. and relative design implications
  • Advise expansion of NAP’s capabilities in the wider sense, requirements and roadmap to lead in the field, future aspirational innovation potential EU event attendance for the purposes of gaining a detailed understanding on the approach being taken by other member states, inversely projecting UK activity and interest levels to the EU
  • Develop an outline Business case to allow the DfT to enact follow on activity as required

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