How to use Highways England's logging environment (HALOGEN)
Register and use HALOGEN, extract HALOGEN reports and integrate HALOGEN data with other applications.
HALOGEN: an overview
HALOGEN is the central source for Highways England traffic management systems logged data.
The database logs real-time and historic data from roadside equipment across the strategic road network. Data sets include matrix and variable message sign settings, emergency roadside telephone and equipment faults, and equipment locations.
Highways England encourages maintenance contractors such as regional technology maintenance contractors (RTMCs) and technical managing agent contractors (TechMACs) to use HALOGEN. For example, contractors can use the logged data to detect roadside equipment failures within their areas of operation.
HALOGEN user registration
Highways England authorises all requests for access to HALOGEN.
Request access from HALOGEN Information Services firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0141 222 4666.
You must supply your:
- organisation name
- email address
- telephone contact
- reason for access
- Highways England project sponsor’s name and contact details
As a registered user, you can:
- access the Web Reporter tool
- download the latest version of the HALOGEN browser
- access or request all four types of report — standard, customised, management and scheduled
- view the current status of logging system
- access the Roadside Fault Display (RFD) and MIDAS websites
- view mailing list archives
- access current documentation
Log in to HALOGEN
Registered users log in to HALOGEN at halogenonline.dft.gov.uk.
HALOGEN access via the Roadside Fault Display (RFD) website
The RFD website is specifically designed for use with laptops and mobile internet devices with very low bandwidth connections. This means you can access it on remote stretches of motorway or other places where mobile phone signals might be weak.
You can also use the RFD website to access HALOGEN-logged data, including:
- the status of Highways England traffic management system equipment and telephones
- faults and fault clearance history for a specific device
You can view data for any Regional Control Centre (RCC) or Regional Maintenance Contractor (RMC) area.
Registered HALOGEN users can access the RFD website with their HALOGEN username and password at www.rccstatus.org.uk.
HALOGEN - Roadside fault display (RFD) website user guide (PDF, 1.52MB, 40 pages)
HALOGEN stores logged traffic management system data for various types of equipment used on England’s motorway network, from variable message signs to emergency roadside telephones.
Typical classes of logged data are:
- faults - for all types of equipment
- settings on matrix signs
- settings on variable message signs
- emergency telephone call data (historic only)
- device configuration data
- operational events
- status changes
- operator actions
Highways England technical document MCH 1780 defines which traffic management system equipment is logged with HALOGEN and under what conditions. You must be a registered user of the Traffic Systems and Signing (TSS) Plans Registry website to download this document.
You can use this information to:
- monitor and manage current road conditions
- identify faults in traffic management system equipment
- monitor the performance of RCC operators
HALOGEN information services
HALOGEN provides data via a number of information services.
A browser-based reporting tool which allows users to extract historic logging information from HALOGEN as a set of predefined reports.
The HALOGEN browser is a map based software application available to download from the HALOGEN site.
It lets you view graphical representations of traffic management system data, either historically from November 2001 onwards or the current state of equipment on the motorway network.
Highways England Technology Maintenance Contractors (RTMCs and TechMACs) use HALOGEN browser to monitor faults as they occur and to investigate and analyse historic fault patterns.
Highways England’s regional control centre operators use the software to monitor the current state of the motorway network. Traffic operation managers use it to help them gain a better understanding of events leading to traffic incidents.
HALOGEN updates the data continuously to give a real-time view of the roads you are interested in.
You can set the browser to display:
- the area covered by a regional control centre
- a section of a motorway
- a user-defined rectangular area on the map
These data types are available in the HALOGEN browser:
- signal and message sign settings
- equipment and telephone fault information
- status of the logging systems
- faults - equipment and telephone
You can view data by:
- range - between a specified start and end date or time
- snapshot – at a given point in time
- current values – a single snapshot of the most recent state of a device
- up-to-date – a current value snapshot refreshed in real time
Downloads from the HALOGEN website:
Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signaling (MIDAS)
MIDAS monitors traffic flow and speed from sensors in the road, usually every 500 metres.
These sensors can:
- detect congestion and the build-up of queues
- automatically trigger alerts on variable message signs to warn drivers of road conditions ahead, including advised maximum speed
MIDAS is currently used on motorways in England that have the highest traffic levels.
Registered HALOGEN users can download MIDAS traffic counting data and operational log files from the HALOGEN user area . Log on to the HALOGEN site
The MIDAS INFO website gives:
- details of MIDAS site locations
- MIDAS site configurations
- specifications for MIDAS controlling equipment.
HALOGEN data integration
HALOGEN allows partner organisations to directly access logged data via their own systems.
It provides a suite of real-time services that deliver the latest traffic management system information in formats meeting industry standards for data exchange.
Open Travel data Access Protocol (OTAP)
This service provides the latest information through a simple Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) request interface that complies with OTAP specifications. All data is returned in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format.
Types of information currently available through OTAP are:
- message sign device settings
- signal device settings
- device setting request
- device status entry
- link monitor
- logging system status
There are also three ‘active’ information topics. These are specially enhanced data streams that aggregate setting, status and fault information into a single, comprehensive view:
- active message sign
- active signal
- active fault
User defined subscriptions let you tailor notifications to deliver data matching your specific requirements.
This information includes:
- message sign device settings
- signal device settings
- device setting requests
- device status entries
- equipment faults
- telephone faults
- link monitor
- equipment status
- build states
- startups and shutdowns
The Notification Service gives the latest traffic management system information through a ‘push’ interface following Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) standards.
Datex II Service
HALOGEN detects proximity, reason code and restrictive settings from sequences of matrix signals and uses them to determine if a traffic situation is in progress.
HALOGEN’s DATEX II Low Cost Profile Service gives this information to users as ‘situations from signals’ traffic events.
Historic Data Reports
HALOGEN provides four types of historic data reports
Standard reports provide four types of logged data:
- faults - including telephone and equipment fault histories, high volume faults and uncleared faults
- settings - historical data for motorway signs and signals
- start ups and versions - a summary of software versions for traffic management system equipment
- toolbox - includes log edits, current system status and log validation
You can download standard reports from the HALOGEN website.
You can request customised reports of historic data from the HALOGEN information services helpdesk email@example.com tel 0141 222 4666.
You can either discuss your requirements directly with the helpdesk, or provide them with information on one of 3 checklists:
- simple report checklist - for data needing little manipulation or analysis, eg faults, signal and sign settings and telephone call records - we can usually supply these reports within three days
- complex report checklist - covers more in-depth analysis of HALOGEN data. This could include automated, regular reports. We can usually supply these reports within a week, but this depends on the complexity of the request. Automated reports will take a few weeks to agree and implement
- court data report checklist - for data to be used in a court of law. Highways England must approve all requests from organisations other than the police or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
HALOGEN generates a suite of management reports each month which give a summary of logging activity during the month.
Management reports typically cover:
monthly usage: a summary of logging activity including:
- operational information such as start-ups, settings and telephone call activity
- maintenance information such as equipment faults, telephone faults and subsystem availability
monthly faults: A day-by-day breakdown of faults for the main subsystems including:
- message signs
- the MIDAS system
implementation reasons: A breakdown of signal and message sign settings by motorway or road
- system availability: The amount of faulty time shown as a percentage of available time for the six main subsystems
telephones: Information on:
- average time to answer
- calls per day for accepted (connected) and accepted (not connected) call types
- telephone call answer times by shift pattern
- fault monitor: The number of uncleared equipment faults lasting two hours hours or more throughout the month, taken at five minute intervals
You can receive management reports:
- as PDF/Excel downloads
- by monthly email
Request management reports from the HALOGEN information services helpdesk firstname.lastname@example.org tel 0141 222 4666.
We can provide scheduled reports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. These are mainly used by organisations interested in telephone call log data and fault log analysis data.
HALOGEN development and test environment
If you develop logging systems for use on the English motorway network you can use the HALOGEN development and test environment for systems integration and acceptance test purposes.
The test environment allows software maintenance contractors (SMCs) and Highways England’s HALOGEN manager, Mott MacDonald, to:
- identify potential logging issues
- analyse the performance of new data logging interfaces
- evaluate the received logs
You can access the test environment online via a secure virtual private network (VPN). Highways England usually grants access for a limited period only.
Request access from HALOGEN Information Services email@example.com tel 0141 222 4666.
HALOGEN information services helpdesk
- registration queries, including new applications
- login problems
- technical support
- custom report requests
Tel 0141 222 46664 - Monday to Friday between 0700 and 1900
Traffic Technology Division
Technology Intelligence Unit
If you want to know more about the system and planned future developments, contact Caroline Donald, HALOGEN project manager at Highways England, Tel 01234 796132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highways England has a HALOGEN mailing list to inform registered users of project activities –
- announcements including service downtime
- new services and updates to existing services
- annual user group meetings
- events and workshops to demonstrate new HALOGEN tools and functions
Email email@example.com if you would like to be included on the mailing list.