Driverless pods in Aylesbury? Govt. gives £4.5m for Bucks road projects
Buckinghamshire is getting nearly £4.5m from the government for new ways to improve our roads.
Funding for new technology that could help stop potholes from forming has been announced by the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.
The Government will provide £22.9million for research and trials on new surface materials or pothole repair.
Real-world tests of new road surfaces and technologies in eight local authorities will see which emerging innovations provide long-term solutions.
The Live Labs projects will be delivered by councils – including Kent, Staffordshire, Reading, Suffolk and Solihull and Birmingham – and if successful, could be adopted by other authorities.
These schemes include expanding the test of plastic roads in Cumbria, using kinetic energy off Buckinghamshire roads to power lighting and using geothermal energy created from paths to keep car parks and bus stations in Central Bedfordshire from freezing over.
What’s happening in Bucks?
The council would work with Transport Catapult Systems and an innovative partner to manufacture recycled plastic/composite columns to mount lighting sensors, 5G antenna and large format schemes in public areas.
They will also use sensors to collect data across their highway network including the use of a central management data system to collect data on air quality, road surface temperature, ANPR, CCTV.
They will also include the application of gully sensors at various locations to help improve efficiency in highways maintenance service.
In addition they will use new kinetic energy recovery from the carriageway to harvest energy in roadside battery units. The Live Lab will also introduce new solar energy generation including solar roads and footways.
The bid includes a new turbine to help harvest energy to power street furniture using the wind. It will also include on-street charging points, a new e-bike hire scheme and a trial at Aylesbury of autonomous pods.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“Potholes are the number one enemy for road users and this government is looking at numerous ways to keep our roads in the best condition.
“Today’s trials will see how new technologies work in the real world to ensure our roads are built for the 21st century.”
In the Budget in November, the Chancellor announced an additional £420 million for road maintenance for 2018/19 financial year. This brings the total funding for pothole repair and roads maintenance, including the Live Labs project, from 2015 to 2020 up to £6.6 billion.