CHARM Market Consultation

CHARM Market Consultation

The CHARM programme is a cooperation of Rijkswaterstaat and Highways England (HE). The objective is to migrate to an Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), supporting all required business processes for network management in an integrated way.

The first phase of the program concluded that the business processes and challenges of the participating agencies are very similar. The second phase of the program is a joint procurement process for renewal of the Traffic Management Centre (TMC) operational systems.

In addition to the renewal, CHARM used pre-commercial procurement (PCP) to invite the market to develop innovations in competition which may be incorporated into the ATMS. The PCP project ended at the end of August 2017.

Vision and objective

Highways England (HE) and Rijkswaterstaat are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the English and Dutch road networks. Both parties have collaborated in order to develop requirements for a new generation of traffic management systems that was jointly procured to support the operational processes of a Traffic Management Centre. This resulted in separate contracts for HE and Rijkswaterstaat.

The objective of CHARM is to move towards an open, modular architecture for an ATMS that is integrated, flexible and scalable and is having the ability to easily incorporate new (innovative) or additional (third party) modules. Such an architecture would allow HE and Rijkswaterstaat to improve the operational efficiency by using contemporary traffic management systems to cater for developments in traffic management within the agencies. It is expected that the majority of the existing applications will be replaced.

The ATMS software package must support the business processes of both Highways England and Rijkswaterstaat, consisting of:

  • Information Provision
  • Dynamic Traffic Management
  • Incident Management
  • Resource Management
  • Event Planning
  • Contact Management
The scope of the CHARM programme consists of all core functionalities used to support services and traffic management processes that are delivered from traffic management centres. This includes the interfaces to the roadside equipment from/of internal and external users.


As a result of several rounds of market consultation rounds and peer reviews, combined with their internal policies, the agencies have chosen to procure an existing software package. This package which will be implemented in a preliminary contract and will be rolled out and serviced in consecutive contracts.

An existing software package will be an integrated and currently functioning system that is implemented and provides interurban traffic management services for multiple customers. It must cover a large part of the required functionality, must be configurable and able to adopt additional (third party) modules that provide the other parts of functionality. The ATMS is chosen and the contracts have been signed.

At the moment the supplier has started implementing the ATMS. This process will take several years to complete. In 2018, the Rijkswaterstaat traffic control center in the south of the Netherlands is the first that switched to the new platform. The other traffic centers of Rijkswaterstaat will follow.

Choosing this existing software package has several benefits that will allow the agencies to reduce (project-based and organization-wise) risks and costs. These advantages are:

  • An existing software package is already implemented by other (similar) clients and can thus be considered as ‘proven technology’.
  • An existing software package has proved its interfacing capabilities for other customers.
  • A system based on an existing software package will have the benefit that the software package supplier continuously updates its system because the core of the system must always be attractive to possible new clients.
  • In contrast to a sole customer of bespoke technology, the installed basics of a software package will also stimulate the development of new technology.
  • Because development costs can be shared between multiple clients, the total cost of ownership will be lower.
  • In order to reduce vendor dependency, third parties must be able to perform servicing, maintenance and configuration of the software package.

The implementation and roll-out of the ATMS software package must comply with the following pre-conditions:

  • ATMS System Provider responsibilities must be clear and transition between contracts must involve a minimal risk for the agencies.
  • The initial system must achieve the program goals and contain all 'must haves'.
  • ATMS System Providers must be fit for purpose, suitably qualified and experienced and should demonstrate a realistic strategy of becoming an international ATMS System Provider.
  • ATMS System Providers must demonstrate the suitability and capability to deliver and subsequently support their solution to the satisfaction of the agencies.
  • ATMS System Providers must demonstrate an approach to minimize vendor lock-in.

Documents and information

More information and documents on the CHARM Market Consultation can be found in the online publication database.