The Problem

The Mersey Gateway Project is a public-private partnership for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a new tolled bridge over the River Mersey in the northwest of England, and includes significant redesign and reconfiguration of the approach highway network. This major new 6-lane crossing and approaches is one of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects. Delivered on behalf of Halton Borough Council it provides a critical new link across the river Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes. The Mersey Gateway eases the significant congestion currently experienced by users of the existing crossings and provides a major strategic new transport route linking the Liverpool city-region, north Cheshire and the North West to the rest of the Country.

The provision of accurate and reliable information from which the operational teams can manage the network and ensure all infrastructure is maintained to optimise asset availability and performance throughout its life is seen as critical. Integrating all key performance information into a single platform is imperative for both authority and contractor performance management as is the continual improvement of operational regimes, asset delivery and reliability, throughout Merseylink’s 30 year life.

The Solution

Nicander supported the main technology contractor with the provision of the Mersey Gateway Management Information System, which is a web-based fully integrated asset, fault and service operation system delivering the effective management of information associated with:

    • All highway and bridge assets
    • All traffic information, control, journey time and tolling technology assets
    • Activities of inspections, surveys and maintenance
    • Winter service, weather and environmental requirements
    • Emergency call-outs, enforcement and abnormal load routeing

The system delivers a comprehensive information reporting service, including calculation of financial payments based on the utilisation of the bridge and vehicle speeds collating data from two separate ANPR systems and traffic counting equipment.  This is validated and processed through complex algorithms to determine all penalty information associated with vehicles travelling less than the specified limit and for other performance parameters.  The system processes this information as part of a complex KPI reporting procedure ultimately calculating the monthly payment charge payable by the Authority.

A GIS map is provided for situational awareness, plotting and showing the locations and state of assets or equipment faults, planned maintenance and work orders. The system monitors the status of all devices including variable message signs, CCTV, incident detection, ANPR and traffic counters. Further interfaces to weather detection outstations monitor visibility performance and then automatically report against a 100 metre threshold automatically adjusting KPI reports appropriately.

Asset management functionality is delivered across all infrastructure and traffic management technology assets, and provides full workflow automation and alerts including Periodic Inspections, surveys and maintenance functions; UKPMS pavement surveys can be attached to assets or locations. Fault management services are provided to manage the lifecycle of all faults on the network.  Automatic monitoring of traffic management technology assets is provided through integration with third-party systems. Virtualised Microsoft SQL Server and reporting products are used and a standard SQL database enables comprehensive flexibility to configure and access data to future proof the system’s implementation.

For further information about the Mersey Gateway Project you can visit