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Costain RMAS digital technology solution

Improving the safety of roadside engineers

A leading-edge digital technology solution is improving the lives of roadside workers and road users by increasing safety and improving journeys on some of the UK’s busiest smart motorways by enabling remote access to maintain and upgrade roadside devices.

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National Highways

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Digital technology solutions - digital systems integration

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Contract start October 2015, go-live May 2017, support and maintenance ongoing to Sept 2020

Key benefits


high-risk site visits prevented each month – increasing safety and reducing the need for traffic management


road side devices can potentially be connected via website enabling a flexible service


availability 24/7 providing reactive and proactive support enabled by ISO 20000 service desk

Key part of the safety case enabling the roll out of smart motorways

that are creating over 470 extra lane miles across the UK

Although Britain's roads are some of the safest, the live carriageway of any highway is a very dangerous place to work. According to an Oxford University study, roadside working was ranked as the 16th most hazardous occupation in the UK.

Highways England’s aim in that no one should be harmed when travelling or working on the Strategic Road Network (SRN). To help them achieve this, our experts developed a solution that would reduce the risk to roadside workers and the frustration of road users by enabling engineers to remotely maintain the roadside technology of 470 smart motorway lane miles across the UK.

“Getting called at 03.40 in the morning because a gantry with eight signals had red boxed, the joys of resetting from my bed!”

The Remote Maintenance Access Service (RMAS) project was the first Highways England initiative to provide a service entirely to IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards. ITIL is a library of volumes describing a framework of best practices for delivering IT services with the emphasis on workflows and the needs of the business over the actual technology used.

The solution needed to be secure, easy to use, scalable and accessible to a wide range of users including Highways England’s internal network and regional technology maintenance contractors. Our experts reached out to our vast network of strategic partners to source leading edge technologies which were integrated to provide a ‘best in class’ solution to meet Highway’s England’s needs.

Following the nationwide roll-out and training programme, users are now able to remotely carry out a range of key tasks from viewing roadside device static data, restarting or resetting application software and operating systems to performing bulk upgrades and rollbacks to a previous version should an issue arise after change to name a few.

With the capability to handle 20,000 roadside devices nationwide, the system meets all Highways England’s current capacity and availability requirements, whilst providing flexibility for expansion of the smart motorway infrastructure in the future.

The security of the system is assured through Costain’s close collaboration with Highways England’s security team throughout the development and the achievement of a Code of Connection certification.

The service also provides an open API which can be used by authorised third parties and a test tool (RAIT) which suppliers can use to test if their equipment is compatible with RMAS prior to rolling out.

Our team provide comprehensive around the clock support for the RMAS service, logging and tracking all service requests through our database, with a single point of contact for all users.

Our continual service improvement plan ensures we continue to adapt the service to the changing needs of users and stakeholders to improve efficiency, add value and support Highways England’s business outcomes.

If you'd like to discuss how RMAS could benefit your organisation email our team today. 

“The RMAS service is essential to Highways England and to its safety commitment by reducing the amount of visits to roadside technologies and exposing our workforce to risks that can be avoided by having remote access to interrogate the equipment.”

Stephen Brown, RMAS Service Operations Manager at Highways England

Contact and social


Ann-Marie Morrison, Client Delivery Director

[email protected]