Government awards £4m tech funding to cut congestion
The Department for Transport has announced the winners of tech projects that will cut congestion, speed up journeys and clean up the environment.
A total of £4m technology funding is being supplied to 19 councils across England to a range of projects intended to improve journeys and cut congestion through digital innovation.
In particular, the projects will provide solutions for urban areas to deal with issues of rising demand for transport based on continued population growth along with combatting air quality issues.
The winning councils across England will receive between £50,000 and £300,000 each for their ideas to improve journeys through digital innovation. All projects will benefit fleets and fleet drivers but there are a number that are particularly noteworthy.
This includes smart parking demonstrator schemes in Coventry, Luton, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire that will provide real-time information on parking bay availability to improve parking services.
Electric vehicle drivers can also benefit from a partnership project between Hounslow, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster, that combines parking sensors with electric vehicle charging points to give drivers real-time information on available spaces where they can recharge.
Some of the scheme also place focus on using the latest technologies to cut congestion – and therefore reduce emissions too. This includes Blackpool, which will be trialling Bluetooth technologies to cut traffic congestion while a new scheme in Dorset will provide advance congestion warnings for drivers on the A31 using an app.
Meanwhile in Warrington, funding will be put to use to provide real-time information to businesses and public through on-street information displays, social media and phone apps while Derbyshire will test an early warning system for congestion enabling drivers to communicate with one another and avoid traffic.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “While there is no definitive evidence on the percentage, at any one time, of traffic circling while looking for a parking space, the knock-on effects on congestion and emissions are obvious, not to mention the added stress this can cause. We’ve all been there.
“Improving the parking experience can help to improve public acceptance of, and compliance with, parking restrictions that are so necessary to keep traffic flowing.”