The UK Highways Agency has selected IT company IPL to operate its forthcoming weather central service, which will provide reliable and real-time weather data.

Under Highways Agency Weather Information Service project, IPL will be responsible for the design, building and operation of the service, which will collect and collate information from sources as varied as the metrological office and roadside sensors to identify trends and traffic patterns in response to weather conditions.

The data will then be distributed throughout the Highways Agency and its service providers, enabling instant intelligent decisions to be made on how best to manage road networks.

The services will also help the agency to pre-empt potential disruption and mitigate against any adverse effects of weather with advance roadside warnings or the deployment of suitable resources – such as salt spreading vehicles in icy weather.

The system will become the single source of weather information for the agency and its service providers, replacing the existing road weather information system.

The project is expected to be delivered by May 2012.