Technology the focus of new funding to cut congestion

12.00 | 21 February 2017 | | 3 comments

The Government has awarded £4m to a series of technology projects designed to cut congestion, speed up journeys and clean up the environment.

Announced today (21 Feb), the DfT funding will be split between 19 councils across England, each of whom will receive between £50,000 and £300,000 for their ideas to improve journeys through digital innovation.

Among the ‘cutting edge technology’ mentioned in the Government release are apps and sensors which can be used to cut congestion, improve parking in city centres and alert drivers when electric car charging points become available.

The funding announcement coincidentally follows a new report published yesterday (20 Feb) which revealed that the UK is Europe’s third most traffic-congested country. The Inrix report says UK drivers spend an average of 32 hours a year in congestion during peak hours. London is the UK’s most congested city, costing drivers in the capital more than twice the national average at £1,911 per person in 2016 – and more than £6bn as a whole.

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The biggest benefactors of the new DfT funding are Warrington, where Bluetooth and Smart technology will be used to manage traffic flow and provide real-time information to businesses and the general public, and Worcestershire, where an information sharing system will enable traffic incidents to be dealt with quickly by highway staff and vehicles.

Andrew Jones, roads minister, said: “Technology is rapidly evolving and this important work shows that if we get it right, it can cut congestion, speed up journeys, clean up the environment, and improve accessibility.”

Other successful bidders include:

  • £234,000 for Blackpool to use Bluetooth technologies to cut traffic congestion
  • £182,000 for Dorset to provide advance congestion warnings for drivers on the A31 using an app
  • £150,000 for Coventry for a real-time bay availability system across 450 pay and display parking spots
  • £204,000 for Westminster, Hounslow, Hammersmith and Fulham to roll out a new generation of electric vehicle charge points which will provide real-time data to motorists when they are available
  • £50,000 for Peterborough to use digital technology to provide real time journey information directly to visually impaired people

Click here for a full list of all recipients of funding (scroll down the page).

Photo: Department for Transport via Twitter (@transportgovuk)


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    In Netherlands they make fantastic use of technology to reduce congestion. Its not modern though. Its called the bicycle!

    The elephant in the room is that its unnecessary journeys in unnecessary vehicles that causes congestion. Unless congestion busting initiatives move people out of cars and into active travel then you are simply replacing costs of congestion with costs to NHS for obesity and inactivity induced lifestyle diseases.

    Rod King, Warrington, Cheshire, 20’s Plenty for Us
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Let’s get this clear, the Government is running campaigns to stop people being distracted by messages on their mobile devices whilst at the same time funding schemes that will send distracting messages to people’s mobile devices.

    Duncan MacKillop. No surprise – No accident
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Apart from there possibly being a distance meter installed in cars could there be some form of metering that assesses the speed of passing traffic and road side illuminating signage that warns them if the vehicles are too close together. Close enough to become a danger in a pile up should something untoward and unexpected happen to one or other of the leading vehicles.

    When we can educate and change drivers behaviour to just this one thing, to a safe stopping or following on distance, a lot of collisions would be avoided and the negative costs to the country would be reduced quite dramatically.

    Bob Craven Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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