Digital service established to tackle disruptive roadworks

The Department for Transport is investing up to £10 million in a digital planning service improve the way that drivers plan their journeys and help them avoid roadworks.

Street Manager, a digital planning service due to launch next year, will make more consistent, accurate data on street works available to motorists. Current data on roadworks often becomes out of date and incomplete quickly, but the hope is that Street Manager will generate real time data and be free for technology companies and app developers to use.

This will allow existing apps and providers, such as Waze and Google maps, to enhance their services making them even more accurate and allow other firms to create new products to help drivers avoid jams.

Additionally, the government is publishing new bidding guidance on lane rental schemes, which will inform local authorities on how they can develop a lane rental scheme, and includes a new calculator for assessing the costs and benefits of schemes.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “Roadworks can often be frustrating for motorists, especially when they cause hold-ups at busy times and delay journeys. We want to reduce this disruption and delay, and Street Manager is just one of a number of actions we are taking so that local authorities and utility companies can better plan and manage their roadworks. The data opened up by this new digital service should enable motorists to plan their journeys better, so they can avoid works and get to their destinations more easily.”

Martin Tett, the LGA’s transport spokesman, said: “Roadworks, whilst necessary, cause congestion and disruption to road users and businesses, with UK drivers wasting an average of 31 hours in rush-hour traffic last year. Councils are on the side of frustrated motorists who find themselves spending wasted hours held up in tailbacks and already do what they can to minimise costs to road users. These initiatives will give road users more accurate information to plan their journeys and avoid delays where possible, and the extension of lane rental powers, long called for by councils, will give incentives to utilities to minimise disruption on the busiest roads throughout the country.”

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