ITS United Kingdom makes Awards for excellence in Intelligent Transport Systems

July 22 2016

ITS (UK), the Intelligent Transport Society for the United Kingdom, has made four Awards for excellence in ITS:

The Rees Hills annual award for outstanding personal contribution has been given to Andy Grahamof White Willow Consulting.

The Scheme / Product of the Year award went to Cubic Transportation System’s ‘video ticket office’ NextAgent™ which is being trialled at Stansted Airport in collaboration with Abellio GroupThis Award was collected by John Pickworth of Cubic and Eleni Jordan of Abellio.

The Forward Thinking award for innovation was made for the Smart Mobility Living Lab in Greenwich.  This Award was collected by Mark Stead of TRL.

The Young Professional of the Year award went to Nathan Watt, Atkins.

The awards are open to any organisation or individual with a UK business office.

The nominations were judged by an eminent panel of ITS professionals chaired by ITS (UK) President and former Transport Minister, Steven Norris.  The Panel Members were:-

  • Professor Anil Namdeo, Newcastle University
  • Lucy Wickham, Mouchel
  • Neal Skelton, ITS United Kingdom
  • Paul Hutton, Smart Highways Magazine
  • Wayne Stant, Clearview Traffic
  • Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation

The Awards were presented by Steven Norris at the ITS United Kingdom President’s Dinner in the City of London on 20 July.


Photo shows

Steven Norris and Nathan Watt (centre) with Atkins colleagues

More details about the award winners:

1.  Young ITS Professional of the Year

Nathan Watt, Atkins

Nathan has worked within the ITS industry for two years, coming straight out of University to Atkins. During this time he has been involved with a variety of ITS projects and has demonstrated his ability to quickly pick-up new concepts, take on responsibilities and exercise core consultancy competencies.

Nathan has contributed to the wider ITS world through attendance at conferences and interest groups and most notably writing an article for ITS UK (July, 2015), on the future of ITS detection. This has led to one of Nathan’s projects for Kent Council; investigating detection on the road network and how industry can move away from the constraints of traditional methods of detection. Nathan has used his experience to share knowledge of detection, specifically floating vehicle data internally within Atkins as well as to other clients and influencing further projects. He has demonstrated excellent research skills, built strong relationships with suppliers and developed innovative solutions to move this project forward.

This year, Nathan has been heavily involved with developing a new generation of ramp metering for Highways England. Nathan very confidently presented findings from the business case, hosted an industry day for leading ramp metering suppliers and contributed significantly to the new specification. The Highways England client commended Nathan: “Nathan has shown great maturity in delivering a challenging and innovative stream of work. 2nd generation ramp metering has the potential to be a powerful new traffic management technique and Nathan has been at the forefront of defining how 2G Ramp Metering will work. A worthy nominee.”

Not only has Nathan developed good technical skills, but he has developed strong relationships and people skills during his time working within the ITS industry. He regularly supports other staff, offering insight as well as helping newer staff learn about ITS and encouraging work experience students.

ITS Article:

2.  Neville Rees and Peter Hills Award for outstanding personal contribution

Andy Graham

Andy is an influential “ideas machine” in many areas of ITS as well as a man who makes things happen practically. Starting his career with Wootton Jeffreys, he joined TPA (now AECOM) where he was director of ITS before starting White Willow Consulting some 10 years ago.

He will have reached 30 years’ experience in 2016,  including working on motorway control, NADICS in Scotland, England’s Regional and national centres and TfL’s Freeflow project. But his main passion is connecting vehicles, people and infrastructure and his leadership led to over 6 million TMC sat navs in the UK, wide use of floating vehicle data and work on the future of connected vehicles.

Much of his work has been for DfT, from removing HGV blind spots through to recent work with C-CAV but he has worked with many local authorities too on real world ITS deployment

He recently helped deploy free flow charging at Dartford and in Canada, and has worked on road charging schemes in Australia, South Africa, Ireland and Bulgaria through to the US. He has also worked in New Zealand, Denmark and France. He is a great salesman for the UK as his many foreign clients will attest. He also helped lead the STREETWISE and CENTRICO projects and has been an auditor for the European Commission

Andy founded and until recently chaired the ITS-UK Connected Vehicles group, and has assisted ITS UK to shape the ITS Directive and by appearing before the Transport Select Committee.  He remains a staunch supporter of ITS-UK and is their go to man for many areas.

Perhaps the biggest contribution he makes is in bringing new people into ITS and sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with them. Allied to his technical and business contribution, this makes him a worthy recipient of the award.

3.  Scheme / Product of the Year

‘video ticket office’ NextAgent™ at Stansted Airport

Cubic Transportation Systems has created NextAgent, an innovative hybrid between a virtual walk-up ticket office, a ticket vending machine and a video-linked call centre. A trial is underway at Stansted Airport in partnership with train operating company Abellio Group. Since the introduction of NextAgent in October 2015, it has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from users, citing the ease of use and a secure and service-oriented customer experience. 91 percent of users would use NextAgent again because of this. A third of respondents claimed NextAgent would increase their likelihood of using train from Stansted airport for their onward journeys, which undoubtedly would help ease road congestion.

NextAgent’s efficient operation is enabled by a video technology based on Cisco unified call manager which runs over a 2MB broadband line. It’s based on a standard rail ticketing system and therefore it links to the RSP settlement for accounting purposes.

NextAgent provides the ability to answer questions both relating to tickets but also for general information about the airport and onwards travel. The device can display tube maps, journey routes, hotel locations and more, all of which can be shared at the touch of a button. The agents are multi-lingual providing reassurance to customers for whom English may not be their native language. This adds a sense of comfort and security for customers whilst helping to ease congested stations.

Using technological innovation, NextAgent enables cost reductions to be reaped by operators using remote agents to answer multiple calls from different locations as well as providing an unheard of level of customer experience.

Summed up in the words of one traveller, “I’m blown away with this machine, absolutely brilliant.  What a time we live in that we can interact with a human being via a machine; fantastic, it is just awesome.  Not seen this before.”

4.  Forward Thinking Award

Smart Mobility Living Lab in Greenwich

The UK Smart Mobility Living Lab created by TRL with the support of the local authority (Royal Borough of Greenwich), CCAV, Innovate UK and DfT is an initiative to provide a real world test environment for the accelerated testing and development of intelligent, connected and/or automated transport technologies.

It unifies three Innovate UK projects (GATEway, MOVE_UK and Atlas) under its umbrella, creating a community of organisations that are pushing intelligent transport systems forward. Partners include RSA, Direct Line, Telefonica, Shell, Sony, Jaguar Land Rover and Oxbotica. Rather than focus on specific projects, the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab has provided a framework in which vehicle manufacturers, technology providers and organisations from associated industries can participate and form consortia to achieve their own objectives with the support of TRL and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

It enables testing in complex urban environments with a range of multimodal transport options to enable investigations into how mobility can be optimised for a range of population demographics, going beyond the relatively sterile testing environments provided by traditional off street facilities. The location of the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab in the heart of London (Europe’s only globally recognised megacity) and close to the centres of finance, insurance, politics and media also mean that it is easily accessible by important stakeholders.

As such we believe that the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab represents a forward thinking, innovative and unique UK asset that will enable the development of ITS to be accelerated within the UK and with global relevance.

UK Smart Mobility Living Lab website –

GATEway website –

MOVE_UK video – H?v=ro-PfT_d1fk


For further information, please contact:  
Jennie Martin



+44(0)20 7709 3003

Notes to editors:

ITS UNITED KINGDOM, the UK association for the promotion of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), is a not-for-profit public/private sector association financed by members’ subscriptions, and provides a forum for all organisations concerned with ITS. We work to bring the benefits that ITS can offer in terms of economic efficiency, transport safety, and environmental benefits to the United Kingdom – and at the same time expand the ITS market.

The membership, around 150 UK organisations, comprises Government Departments, Local Authorities, consultants, contractors, manufacturing and service companies, and academic and research institutions.

Members benefit from ITS United Kingdom activities including seminars, workshops and regular news dissemination. ITS United Kingdom encourages discussion on issues such as public/private co-operation, standards, legislation, information provision and new technology.

Photos by Marcus van Lyden