£15m fund for Councils to improve local roads across England
A multimillion-pound scheme to improve traffic signals and a commitment to explore how new technology – such as drones and 3D printing – could be used to find and fix potholes are part of a raft of measures announced by the Transport Secretary.
The package will see councils across England receive a share of £15m in Government funding to improve their traffic light systems to cut congestion, boost safety and reduce journey times and emissions – a commitment set out in the recently announced Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
In addition to announcing today’s funding, the Government has also published the findings from a new initiative called the Digital Intelligence Brokerage (DIB), which aims to encourage more work with small and medium enterprises outside of the transport sector and to speed up research into new and innovative ways to fix potholes.
The DIB has already made waves in this area, identifying graphite nanoparticles in asphalt to reduce surface cracks, the use of bio-bitumen materials to create environmentally-friendly road surfaces which contribute to the decarbonisation of highways maintenance, and automated repair operations to minimise risk to road maintenance workers
This work supports wider Government commitments to use advanced technology, such as drones to spot defects in roads and 3D printing to repair cracks.
This all comes as the Government continues its drive to level up the country’s transport network and build back better from the pandemic.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Whether you’re a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian, every road-user across our country deserves the best possible journey. That’s why, despite already having some of the best and safest roads in the world, this Government is providing millions of pounds to improve them further still.
“This vital funding and work will cut journey times for millions of people, reduce emissions and keep the UK at the forefront of technological developments in roads maintenance, as we continue to invest in local economies and build back both better and greener from the pandemic.”