Smart Traffic Signals: £50m funding boost for England's roads

The Department for Transport has announced the allocation of £50 million in new funding as part of the Plan for Drivers, aimed at enhancing traffic signal efficiency across England.

Listen to '£50m funding boost for smart traffic signals in England'


2023 Traffic Signals GrantsSecretary of State Mark Harper confirmed the funding, following the plan's introduction last October. This investment marks the largest single expenditure on traffic signals in a generation.

The funding is designated for two main initiatives: the Traffic Signals Obsolescence Grant (TSOG) and the Green Light Fund (GLF). £30 million from TSOG is earmarked for updating obsolete and unreliable traffic signal equipment to prevent shortages of essential parts, such as halogen lights, communications equipment, and controllers.

The remaining £20 million allocated through GLF will be used for tuning traffic signals to better reflect and adapt to current traffic conditions, enhancing flow and reducing congestion.

Of the total funding, £10 million is being automatically distributed to all eligible local highway authorities in England through the Integrated Transport Block allocation formula.

The other £40 million is allocated to 67 specific grants funding projects across 80 local authority areas, with most grants around £500,000. Notably, Greater Manchester and Tees Valley combined authorities are receiving multi-million payments to support multiple local authorities within their regions.

118 of the 121 eligible local authority areas in England applied for the funding, either individually or through a Combined Authority, with more than two-thirds successfully securing additional funds beyond the automatic allocation.

Paula Claytonsmith LCRIG Local Councils Road Innovation GroupThe application process was managed by the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG). Paula Claytonsmith, CEO of LCRIG, highlighted the success of previous grants totalling £15 million in 2021, which demonstrated significant improvements in signal efficiency and emission reductions.

Furthermore, the Department for Transport is preparing to open applications for an additional £20 million from the Intelligent Traffic Management Fund (ITMF) next month.

This fund is designed to support the adoption of advanced technologies in traffic management, encouraging local authorities to use emerging tech to optimise traffic flow and distribute traffic evenly across urban centres. Authorities interested in this opportunity will have until the end of July 2024 to submit their bids, with guidance already made available to assist them.

This significant investment underscores the government's commitment to leveraging technology to enhance public infrastructure, improve road safety, and ensure smoother travel for drivers, setting a precedent for future innovations in traffic management.

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