Humber Bridge Toll System Shutdown


The minic system in the bridge control room

Little known fact. Since 1998, if you have driven over the Humber Bridge and paid a toll then you have been interacting with some software that I wrote. Ian Bell and myself produced the instation and minic software that has been keeping track of bridge crossings and toll takings. We worked with Siemens Road Traffic Controls who put the hardware into the booths, our code kept track of mis-registrations and printed out the totals tables. It’s been working ever since, with a mid term upgrade and a little problem when it lasted longer than it was supposed to.

And today, just after 5 o’clock in the afternoon, I turned it off forever.


The final moments

The system is being replaced by an altogether more up to date one, which allows for toll payment without stopping, special rf badges and all kinds of new fangled things.

It seems like less and less of my software is being used in the world. For a magical time a few years ago programs I had written were putting datestamps on Budweiser beer and Cadbury’s Roses, passing part programs into machines that cut wing-spars for aircraft, measuring winch lengths on trawlers and flushing toilets in the Reckit and Coleman test labs in Hull. Happy days.