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Councils offered share of £2m fund to improve roads using new technology

The Department for Transport has launched a £2m fund to allow councils to capitalise on emerging technologies and deliver better journeys for motorists.

Road congestion

The DfT scheme will enable councils to invest in technology to help drivers avoid traffic jams

Local authorities can apply for a share of the money to develop projects to greatly enhance journeys, for example using technology to allow vehicles to communicate with each other and roadside sensors to provide the drivers with real-time traffic information.

Councils will also look at how warnings about changing weather and traffic conditions can be sent directly to vehicles, enabling drivers to plan ahead.

Under a previous scheme, Westminster City Council has been building an app that directs drivers to empty parking spaces in central London and then takes payments automatically for using the spot.

Roads Minister Andrew Jones said: “I want to deliver better, more enjoyable journeys and this £2m fund will help councils invest in new technology to enhance the experience of driving.

“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.”

Councils have until 5pm on Friday 30 September 2016 to submit their bids and successful respondents will be revealed in November.

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. Schemes would be expected to complete by March 2018.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.