Vans and trucks will be involved in the early stages of trialing the M6toll’s new transformational tolling system.
The M6toll owners Midlands Expressway Ltd, are planning a multi-million pound investment to transform the existing tolling infrastructure. This will include the introduction of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), a new customer relationship management system (CRM) and eCommerce systems, implemented as part of a strategy to drive growth and increased choice for customers.
The first wave of ANPR cameras will go live in April, as part of a pilot involving a number of fleet operators, before a gradual phasing in of the new systems for use by all other road users.
ANPR cameras will identify license plate data, removing the need for physical payment at the toll plazas and replacing them with a remote payment system. It will enable seamless end to end journeys and mean customers can manage all transactions via the M6toll website, whether for a single vehicle or a large fleet spread across a number of depots.
As well as being the first to trial the new tolling system, hauliers and logistics companies received a further boost last year with the decision to hold prices unchanged for vans and trucks using the road.
Following a rigorous selection process involving sector leading companies from around the globe, leading design consultancy Stantec has been commissioned to carry out a more comprehensive tolling systems upgrade project.
Andy Cliffe, M6toll Chief Executive, said: “As part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring the road remains the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective choice for HGV and commercial fleet operators, we will pilot the new tolling system with a number of van and truck fleet operators during this first phase.
“The new tolling system is part of the wider ‘Road Ahead’ digital transformation programme we have in place for the M6toll, where we will be upgrading not only the tolling technology on the road itself, but also the customer service systems we use behind the scenes. We are committed to providing hassle-free journeys and outstanding customer service and continuing to invest in the most innovative technology available is central to delivering on that promise.
“Stantec are a world leading consultancy responsible for some of the best constructed and most technically efficient tolling systems available, and we look forward to them delivering a similar standout project for the M6toll.”
Dougie McDonald, Director for Transport in the UK said: “As MEL’s Design Services Partner, Stantec will deliver in-depth and high-quality expertise from the conceptual planning through to the detailed design and implementation phases of the project.
“The Stantec team, which includes engineers, tolling, and technology specialists from the UK and the US, is proud to be working with MEL to implement the latest technology and approaches to ensure this transformational programme delivers real benefits, in terms of safety, price and efficiency, for motorists.”
Stantec will lead the development of a programme of investment that incorporates roadside ANPR technology, and operational and commercial improvements for back office systems. As Design Services Partner, Stantec will also assist MEL with procurement and implementation to deliver a system that will benefit the 50,000 motorists who use the M6toll each day.
Stantec’s experience includes the implementation of cashless tolling on the New York state Thruway to reduce waiting time for 267 million motorists a year. They were also design-lead for the US$850 million State Highway 288 Toll Lanes (SH288) project to provide a safer, more direct commute for residents of the Greater Houston area.