Public Services > Local Government

Councils sought for £2m traffic technology innovation funding

Neil Merrett Published 12 August 2016

Department for Transport sets aside funds to support councils in use of emerging smart technologies such as roadside sensors to improve motorists experiences


Councils are being given until the end of next month to apply for part of a £2m funding pot that aims to support technology projects that can improve motorist experiences and journey planning on UK roads.

With a particular focus on emerging technologies, the Department for Transport (DfT) is hoping to divide the money between different councils and public sector organisations to encourage a focus on smart projects looking at infrastructure and data sharing.

“Proposals include using technology that will allow vehicles communicate with each other and roadside sensors to provide the drivers with real-time traffic information,” said the department in a statement .

Among the stated aims of the funding, councils are also being encouraged to consider how to deliver warnings with regard to factors such as weather and traffic conditions that can be sent to directly to vehicles.  It is hoped the functions will allow motorists to better plan ahead and ensure quicker and safer journeys on UK roads.

As an example of the type of projects to receive funding under previous similar schemes, the DfT pointed to work by Westminster City Council to build an app capable of directing drivers to parking spaces in central London.  The technology is expected to take payments.

Roads minister Andrew Jones said the funding formed part of ambitions to support investment in technology that can improve motorists’ planning.

“Britain has a proud history of innovation and I am delighted that councils will be able to use this money to develop systems to make journeys easier and safer.  Bids are expected to range between £30,000 and £300,000 and councils are expected to provide at least 5% of their project’s cost,” he said.

“They have until 5pm on Friday 30 September 2016 to submit their bids and successful councils will be revealed in November. Schemes would be expected to complete by March 2018.”

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