back to article Highways England seeks vendor to replace Windows 2003-based pavement management systems

Highways England, the authority responsible for the nation's roads and related infrastructure, is asking tech vendors to bid for a project worth up to £15m to replace its ageing pavement information management systems. Still running on an unsupported Windows 2003 system, the Highways Agency Pavement Management System (HAPMS) …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "explain the apparent increase."

    More snouts in the trough?

  2. leadyrob

    pavement == road

    For anyone confused by the Reg's associated image, the pavement system being discussed here is for managing the road surface, not the bit that pedestrians walk on.

    1. tfewster

      Re: pavement == road

      In which case, the acronyms HARMS and SWEAR (Assessment rather than Evaluation) would be more appropriate

    2. Jim Willsher

      Re: pavement == road

      Sounds like they maintain their IT landscape with as much love as they maintain the roads/pavements, e.g. ignore it.

      1. Chicken Marengo

        Re: pavement == road

        Highways England aren’t too bad, they are responsible for the trunk road network (motorways, and significant a roads). The rest falls under local authority responsibility and it is these that are really seriously falling apart, largely as a result of massive funding cuts.

        Spent a few years working in highways maintenance systems, at both local and trunk road level, interesting field, full of the usual basket case companies and beauracracy. From what I remember, Confirm was not a bad product

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: pavement == road

          >Confirm was not a bad product

          So apart from it running on Windows 2003 what's wrong with it? England's not getting significantly bigger so the system won't need to scale up much, it just needs a refresh so it can run on a modern, supported, platform.

          I'd guess the pavement <=> road thing is that the code either originalted in the US or was written by an American contractor. Either way there's probably newer versions floating around in the US, you may not need to touch a thing (even if you do insist on driving on the wrong side of the road).

          1. H in The Hague

            Re: pavement == road

            "I'd guess the pavement <=> road thing is that the code either originalted in the US or was written by an American contractor."

            No, that's standard British highway engineering terminology. The BSI Glossary of Building and Civil Engineering defines 'pavement' as 'Road, runway or similar structure above the subgrade'. I.e. it's the stuff you drive your car on, in the UK usually concrete or asphalt concrete (what used to be called tarmac).

            And here, 'highway' is not the American word for motorway, but a 'Way over which the public has the right to pass. The right may be restricted to specific classes of traffic.'

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Just replace the whole thing with a sheet of paper

    that says

    "Not Fit For Purpose."

    Job done. That will be £30M please

  4. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

    "SWEEP too is set to be replaced."

    [insert joke about Trigger's broom]

    1. Richard Pennington 1

      Or combine it with a survey of particulate pollution, and you get ...

      SOOTY and SWEEP.

      Mine's the one with a hand up the back ...

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: Or combine it with a survey of particulate pollution, and you get ...

        & the other holding out a large brown envelope stuffed with ca$h!

        Icon - Can I say Ted Hastings, why yes I can.

        PS - We need a $ icon.

    2. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      "[insert joke about Trigger's broom]"

      Alright, Dave?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "economic evaluation of pavements" ... they've already done that and are trialling schemes to allow companies to pay for the right to dump electric scooters wherever they want on pavements - pedestrians don't contribute anything economically so there's no reason why they should think they should have a right to walk unimpeded on them.

    1. PTW

      Looking at you Bolt!

      I'm about two blocked zebra crossings away from buying a Stihl saw to chop their PoS up on sight. Perhaps then they'll realise it's their responsibility to educate/fine their wanker customers

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Looking at you Bolt!

        Perhaps they are giving us an insight into how things were before the Highway Code and mandatory driving tests.

    2. H in The Hague

      "right to dump electric scooters wherever they want on pavements"

      Different pavement. As far as HE is concerned pavement is what cars drive on. You are referring to what highway engineers call the 'footway'.

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    it is looking for "deterioration modelling" to forecast the future condition of pavements

    That bit should be easy for the pavement on my street : it will just show a photograph of a pile of rubble, as that's the only possible next state of it after it having been dug up and reset so many times over the past few years by Openreach, Sky, the water and electricity companies........... half the paving slabs are cracked or at severely wonky angles, and autumn is especially fun when the luxuriant tree foliage dumps tons of leaves on them, which turn walking into a lucky dip of guessing where the pavement will be on your next step. Then the leaves decay over the next couple of months, into a sort of frictionless slime, as it appears that there is no money available for some kind of "sweep" system.............

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: it is looking for "deterioration modelling" to forecast the future condition of pavements

      a sort of frictionless slime

      Ever thought about gathering up the stuff and selling it as lab material for physics classes?

  7. IGotOut Silver badge

    Ah that explains it!

    We just had a 1 mile section of road "dressed".


    Well apart from it was completely resurfaced less than 6 months ago.

    Meanwhile, the stretch right after it still resembles to surface of Mars.

    So clearly its Microsoft fault!

    1. PTW

      Re: Ah that explains it!

      But apparently it "extends" the life, despite making it nothing but slippery tar as soon as the sun comes out. I'm guessing some quarrying conglomerate lobbies to keep this horrific practise in vogue

  8. Blackjack Silver badge

    Honesty it would be easier to make a new system, run it in parallel to the old one and then switch off the old system after a few years.

    After that, you can move the old database to a VM if you really really really need to keep it around.

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Lots of the damage was self inflicted

    That anti-skid surface coating that was applied to existing roads has IMHO caused a more rapid deterioration of the surface that is underneath the coating. Potholes galore

    Then there are the speedbumps that sit in the middle of the lane. Once again there is every chance that the bump surface will crack and crumble due to the hammering the things get thousands of times a day.

    I don't envy anyone taking responsibility for this mammoth pile of crap that is the surface of our roads.

  10. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

    Local Authority Logistics

    Picture the scene...

    Wet mornings & afternoons, on my moped in rush hour, local water board digs up road for about 3 - 4weeks, till the happy Friday afternoon comes along & they are all done, road clear & traffic flows normally.

    Monday morning back to square one as electric company now decides to dig up the new section & make repairs for the next 3 - 4 weeks.

    Repeat as Bluish Gas & Brutish Telecom finally get a go at digging up the newly re-resurfaced road & making their own repairs for the next 8 - 9 weeks.

  11. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Local Roads >>> Local Council!!!

    Lots of comments about local roads, but they have nothing to do with Highways England. If your local pavement/sidewalk or road/pavement is bad, speak to your local council as it's their responsibility. Highways England are responsible for Motorways and major A Roads ONLY.

    You can often tell when you leave a local council maintained road (Motocross track) and enter a Highways England maintained road by the fact that the surface suddenly becomes smooth, level, and well drained.

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