Government reveals plans for £10m real-time roadworks info service
Service will launch to some local authorities and utilities firms in May 2019
The government has revealed that its new £10m Street Manager service is already in pilot phase and will be expanded to a group of councils and utilities companies in spring 2019.
The service – which aims to help drivers across England better plan journeys by providing real-time data on roadworks – has been in the works since mid-2017, when the government undertook a discovery phase. It was announced in September that the Department for Transport would be investing £10m in developing the service in full, with a launch scheduled for later in 2019.
In response to a written parliamentary statement, DfT parliamentary under-secretary Baroness Sugg revealed that the service is already being piloted by “a small number of organisations”.
Further tests – in which the service will be opened up to a select group of local authorities and utilities providers – will begin in May. The service “will be fully tested later in 2019”, Sugg added.
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Street Manager aims to address the problem of drivers often being provided information on roadworks that is out-of-date or inaccurate, according to the government. The tool will be freely available to tech firms and the government hopes that this will allow the likes of Google Maps and others to improve the service they offer customers.
The service will replace a system currently being used by local councils and utilities firms to share roadworks information that the government claimed is “ineffective and out-of-date”.
The goal is that apps and sat-nav systems can ultimately provide motorists with real-time updates on traffic incidents or roadworks. The service will also help councils and suppliers work better together, according to Sugg.
“Street Manager will improve the planning, management and communication of street and road works in England,” she said. “A key feature will allow works promoters and local authorities to see all planned and live works, to identify opportunities for collaboration and joint works.”
A total of 2.5 million roadworks projects take place in England each year, according to the government. This equates to almost 7,000 per day.
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