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Government Adds Additional Funding to Improve Local Roads

London Traffic

A £15 million funding package has been announced by the Government to improve traffic signals across England.

Local councils will receive a share of the funding package to improve traffic lights and traffic flow systems. The aim is to cut congestion, boost safety, and reduce journey times. All of these goals will help to reduce emissions, one of the main aims of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

This will come as good news to car and van drivers alike. Nobody enjoys congested junctions, and reducing time spent waiting at the lights could also reduce driver stress.

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.”

The Government also recently released a review of the Digital Intelligent Brokerage project pilot, which aims to improve sustainable solutions for potholes.

The project is looking at new and innovative ways to identify and fix potholes, including using a range of environmentally friendly materials to further move towards decarbonisation of highways maintenance.

Trialled in Wiltshire, the project has demonstrated the potential for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to bring innovation to the local highways sector. With so many factors affecting pothole creation and repair, including environmental effects and various repair solutions, the DIB report suggests that any new solution to the pothole issue will be a complex one.

Collaboration between councils and SMEs should provide innovation in areas such as pothole detection, predictive analysis, materials, and more, the report says.

RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “Additional investment to cut congestion and make pothole repairs better for the future is very welcome. Improving traffic lights can make a significant difference to local roads by efficiently maximising the number of vehicles which can safely pass through junctions, while hitting a pothole can be an expensive and even a dangerous experience, so we look forward to seeing how drivers and road users more widely can benefit from the use of 21st century technology to repair their local roads more quickly.”

The announced funding is additional to the £1.125bn that the Government has already earmarked for local road maintenance. This additional funding is not just to improve traffic signals, but also to begin preparations for new technologies with the goal to future-proofing local roads.

You can read the full report here.