Posted: 25th July
The latest on roadwork disruption and delays
Traffic, roadworks, diversions. They’re the bane of every driver’s life. But with the UK population expected to top 76 million by 2045, and £100 billion earmarked for new infrastructure projects by the government to cope with the numbers, roadworks are set to remain a part of everyday life for some time to come.
However, a challenge exists to mitigate the impact of roadworks and keep channels of communication flowing between us (the public), authorities and utilities, to better prepare us for roadworks and congestion.
Staffordshire County Council is attempting to address this with its ‘Dare to Solve: Roadworks’ competition.
Along with infrastructure support service provider, Amey, roadworks database firm Elgin and innovation consultant Tenshi, Staffordshire County Council is looking for digital solutions to help reduce the pain of roadworks for communities, commuters and businesses, by helping them plan around and measure the impact of roadworks.
The contest is open to startups and entrepreneurs in the UK and Europe, and the prize is £10,000 funding, which they will use to develop and trial their proposal in Staffordshire.
As well as receiving funding, the winner will also get to collaborate with commercial partners to accelerate the development of the technology.
The winning entrepreneur will also retain 100% of their IP and receive mentoring to help bring their solution to market.
The deadline for applications is July 15, and shortlisted entries will be invited to a live pitch and Q&A with a panel of judges.
Some firms are already using data and new technologies to minimise the impact of roadworks on road users. This includes platforms to enable more joined up works planning and execution, and innovative no-dig technologies such as robots to “live” in utilities pipes where they can constantly inspect and repair infrastructure.
While these developments have the potential to reduce cost and duration, any disruption caused by roadworks is still highly visible and quickly felt by local residents, motorists and businesses.
The winning entrepreneur will retain 100% of their IP and will receive mentoring and promotion to help bring their solutions to market.
Digital innovation already enables us to plan our journeys and inform us of possible delays and roadworks along the route, but how can these technologies be harnessed to help local authorities, utility companies and contractors communicate large scale roadworks planned for our roads in the coming years while reducing tailbacks for Britain’s 37 million motorists?
Reduced congestion will benefit all road users, including those driving for business, commuters and leisure. This in turn will benefit the wider economy and contribute to future growth.