News story

£4 million awarded for tech which gives motorists advance notice of congestion and available parking spaces

Government awards £4 million for tech projects that will cut congestion, speed up journeys and clean up the environment.

Westminster parking app.

Apps that notify motorists of congestion and available parking spaces, and real time journey information for visually impaired passengers, are just some of the projects that will receive a share of £4 million government technology funding today (21 February 2017).

Nineteen councils across England will receive between £50,000 and £300,000 each for their ideas to improve journeys through digital innovation.

The government money will be spent on developing cutting edge technology such as apps and sensors which can be used to cut congestion, improve parking in city centres and alert drivers when electric car charging points become available.

Successful bidders include:

  • £234,000 for Blackpool to use Bluetooth technologies to cut traffic congestion
  • £182,000 for Dorset to provide advance congestion warnings for drivers on the A31 using an app
  • £300,000 for Warrington to provide real-time information to businesses and public through on-street information displays, social media and phone apps
  • £150,000 for Coventry for a real-time bay availability system across 450 pay and display parking spots
  • £204,000 for Westminster, Hounslow, Hammersmith and Fulham to roll out a new generation of electric vehicle charge points which will provide real-time data to motorists when they are available
  • £50,000 for Peterborough to use digital technology to provide real time journey information directly to visually impaired people

Roads Minister Andrew Jones, said:

I congratulate today’s winners for coming up with cutting-edge, innovative ideas that will transform journeys for passengers and motorists across the country. Technology is rapidly evolving and this important work shows that if we get it right, it can cut congestion, speed up journeys, clean up the environment, and improve accessibility.

Andrew Jones is visiting one of the competition winners, Westminster Council, today where he will see smart technology in practice including a hands-free parking app which reduces the time motorists circulate by showing available space.

Full list of competition winners

Local authority Project Funding awarded
Blackpool Traffic congestion and parking Bluetooth management technology £234,000
City of York Connected vehicle data for traffic signalling to improve congestion £295,200
Derbyshire Early warning system for congestion enabling drivers to communicate with one another and avoid traffic £237,500
Dorset Advanced congestion warnings app £182,100
Southampton Enabling council to deliver real time travel information to better manage road network £90,000
Swindon Alert system for local authority traffic managers to better disseminate congestion information £235,000
Warrington Using Bluetooth and Smart technology to manage traffic flow and provide real-time information to businesses and the general public £300,000
Worcestershire Information sharing system so traffic incidents can be dealt with quickly by highway staff and vehicles £300,000
Newcastle Connected bus scheme for Arriva Fleet to equip more buses with vehicle infrastructure technology. £98,200
Portsmouth Developing platform for Portsmouth’s Traffic Management Centre, enabling communication exchange between vehicles infrastructure and other vehicles £285,000
Reading Improve roadworks warning, parking and traffic information £250,000
Coventry Real time information on parking bay availability to improve parking services £150,000
Somerset Provide advanced traffic signal phase and timing information for traffic on the M5 - Junction 24, through Bridgewater, to Hinkley Point £290,000
West Midlands Real time information for HVG drivers to avoid unnecessary stops at traffic signals via hands free smartphone app £285,000
Hounslow, Hammersmith, Fulham and Westminster Sharing information about electric charge points by deploying parking sensors in electric vehicle bays £204,000
Luton To collect live car park availability data and give straight to drivers to reduce congestion by reducing time looking for spaces £73,500
Milton Keynes Provision of real time information with cameras/sensors and 7 laser sensors at key junctions in Central Milton Keynes enabling monitoring of all available parking £175,000
Oxfordshire Real-time parking information for Blue Badge, Pay and Display and electric vehicle charge points with a particular focus on vulnerable road users £239,000
Peterborough Real time journey information for the visually impaired with a focus on visitors being able to access the new Royal National Institute for the Blind head offices in Peterborough £50,000

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Published 21 February 2017