Cost-effective solution: Managing roads and traffic around mass sports events


In July 2022, 575,000 visitors were projected to descend on Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. For Milton Keynes Council(MKC), safety was paramount. They needed an innovative way to manage traffic on previously unmonitored roads. Even the roads equipped with traffic cameras had critical blind spots. To make matters worse, much of the road infrastructure required maintenance, which presented significant risks to engineering personnel.


To solve this problem, MKC turned to Valerann and Excelerate Technology to deliver ITS Equant: a first-of-its-kind project funded by the ESA to bring a new generation of cost-effective satellite-enabled Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) to market. The project combined Excelerate Technology’s proprietary satellite communications-enabled CCTV cameras with Lanternn by Valerann™ (LbV), a powerful AI-driven real-time traffic analytics platform. LbV enhances data with additional datasets (including satellite-derived positioning data) taken from floating cars, social media, mobile apps, and legacy sensors.


This solution essentially made it possible to take advantage of satellite technology to monitor any type of road, in this case the B-roads predicted to lead to high density traffic in proximity to the Milton Keynes Stadium. MKC was provided with a window into its rural road system and the tools at its disposal to keep traffic flowing smoothly—including guiding ambulances to help them to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Engineers could service the roads in safety, due to predictable traffic flow and early alerts of dangerous driving, road accidents,and adverse weather conditions.

Crucially, the many thousands of drivers using these small country lanes were kept moving. They could avoid the frustration of long traffic jams and the uncertainty of unpredictable oncoming traffic. They benefitted from real-time instructions and warnings delivered by Variable Message Signs stationed strategically along the B-roads. Traffic was diverted immediately when accidents occurred, reducing the severity of the incident and keeping those involved – including emergency services personnel – safe.

Overall venue security was improved as well. By avoiding traffic build up, crowds could easily be managed and dispersed, reducing the likelihood that they would engage in dangerous behavior or become a target for malicious actors. Moreover, inline with UEFA’s sustainability drive, CO2 emissions were minimized where they would otherwise have built up due to static traffic.

All this was achieved at a fraction of the cost of a traditional ATMS deployment, which can cost as much as £100,000 per kilometer.