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West Midlands to spend on tech to reduce traffic congestion


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has laid plans for more real time information, a new website, intelligent traffic lights and the use of drones to reduce congestion in the region.

It has put forward a ten-point Congestion Management Plan, which has now been approved by the board of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and includes a strong emphasis on using new technologies along with investment in roads and public transport.

The plan includes the creation of a Regional Transport Coordination Centre, in partnership with Highways England and West Midlands Police, to manage all travel disruption during major events and incidents.

This will be accompanied by investment in technology such as intelligent traffic lights and cameras to monitor traffic, and a ‘super portal’ for all information on travel disruption in the West Midlands.

Also included is a plan to use drone technology to help emergency services when responding to road accidents.

Joined up approach

Councillor Roger Lawrence, WMCA portfolio holder for transport, said: "This plan is a joined up approach to tackle a regional problem and we’ll be working with Highways England, public transport operators and West Midlands Police to make it happen.

"Through the Congestion Management Plan, we will make sure that journey planning advice is available on any routes which are affected by big construction projects such as HS2, the Metro tram extension and preparation for the Commonwealth Games, and we will make sure it is all available in one place on the Network West Midlands website.”

A business case for the plan will now be drawn up to be presented at a future WMCA board meeting.

Image by Timo Newton-Syms, CC BY 2.0 through flickr


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