The Chancellor’s Autumn statement is being criticised for not considering enough the use of technology to solve the transport issues facing the country.
Phillip Hammond confirmed yesterday that £1.1bn will be spent on transport, including £390m set aside for further development of low emission vehicles (LEVs) and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
£220 million will be spent on tackling pinch points on England’s motorways and major A-Roads. He also gave the go ahead to a programme of major road schemes in the north.
But Sebastien Ruffino, VP B2B at TomTom BRIDGE reacted by suggesting that the government should concentrate more on better using existing resources, “The answer to existing problems such as the number of accidents or levels of congestion is not to build more roads,” he said. “Instead, we need to be able to easily connect drivers with real-time information that will help them to drive better, collectively, on smarter roads.
“Technology plays a huge part in jams or predictive traffic will reduce each vehicle’s impact on the environment, improve driver journeys and contribute significantly to greater safety.
“We are already seeing the convergence of technologies between smart devices and real-time vehicle information become crucial tools. They are enhancing driver efficiency and helping us to make smarter decisions that reduce congestion, incidents and frustration on our roads. Until intelligent self-driving vehicles become a pervasive means of transport, our objective should be to provide solutions that help us become more intelligent drivers.”
Roger Crow, Exec VP and Managing Director of Europe, Cubic Transportation Systems agreed technology is the key:
“We believe we need increased investment in the UK’s transport infrastructure alongside additional investment in intelligent mobility.
“We are already making real strides in developing smarter cities which will open up transportation, delivering safer, more secure and reliable journeys for travellers. There are no easy answers but additional investment in the most impactful areas would be a major step in the right direction in providing transport solutions which will help relieve pressure created by population growth and traffic increases.
“We also need additional investment if we are to significantly move towards better transport links between the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine and the South East. This will create greater economic growth for the UK and provide businesses with the vital skills they need to build these economic hubs.”