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.
Traffic levels at record high in 2016
09 February 2017
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)