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Government fund invests in tech to cut road congestion
Government fund invests in tech to cut road congestion

Government fund invests in tech to cut road congestion

A government fund for councils and SMEs will help cut congestion by investing in technology.

Local authorities and SMEs have been promised £1.5 million through the Govtech Catalyst – a £20 million fund that has been set up to solve local transport issues through tech.

It is thought that the costs associated with congestion could be cut significantly by using tech to calm rush hour traffic, improve road safety and air quality too.

The government is investing in new ways to use data so that driving conditions improve, and the time drivers have to spend in traffic jams is also significantly reduced.

Three projects have won a share of the £1.5 million fund to trial innovative transport projects, using data generated by transport in towns and cities to improve the driving conditions for thousands of people.

These schemes – based in Bournemouth, York, and Oxford, will be managed by the Department for Transport (DfT) for the next 12 months.

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, commented: “Congestion isn’t just bad for our environment, productivity and communities – it also has a huge impact on our national economy.

“That’s why, as well as our multi-billion pound investment in rail and buses to improve connectivity, we are opening up city centre, transport and traffic management to new digital innovators.

“Transport technology is a growing global sector with the potential to help reduce congestion, emissions and improve connectivity.

“The competition winners show how world class UK transport tech companies are helping millions of people in our towns and cities every day.”

In York, INRIX will use vehicle tracks to map vehicle ‘paths’, which will help to optimise and improve traffic signals in the city, allowing traffic to flow more freely; IM23 is working with Oxfordshire Council to create a tool to predict and tackle congestion by helping traffic controllers understand how to keep traffic moving, while also making efficient improvements to the road network.

Finally, driving in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be safer through software developed by Vivacity, which monitors traffic and flags incidents in real time.

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