06 July 2017
Smart Move

Using the latest technology to beat traffic congestion is at the heart of the Smart Move Northamptonshire project.

A report on the scheme will be heard at Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet meeting.

Over the coming months, a raft of measures will be progressed that will work together.

Currently being developed is the Smart Commuter initiative, which will offer the public real-time traffic information to help them make more informed choices on their journeys.

Data on traffic flows will be collected via road sensors and then displayed through screens placed in strategic places throughout Northampton and via an online portal, which would be accessible via a smart phone, tablet or laptop.

Other measures include the Smart Corridor scheme, the first of which has been completed in the Weedon Road area of Northampton and the expansion of the Cycle CoNNect bike hire scheme.

The county council is also supporting the growth of low emission vehicles and exploring how connected and autonomous vehicles could play a role in alleviating congestion.

Another project discussed in the cabinet paper is the Major Roads Network initiative, which looks at giving county council roads which are of strategic importance, similar status to the national strategic roads network. This would mean they would have a similar investment in technology as already seen on some smart motorways and is thought the A45 between the M1 and A14 could be a national pilot for such a move.

Cllr Ian Morris, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said:


“The Smart Move Northamptonshire initiative will help the travelling public, particularly peak-time commuters by taking steps to reduce congestion.

“We’re working on a number of measures that all work together to use technology to improve traffic flow, which will have enormous benefits for people.

“But there will be other advantages too in that a more free-flowing road network can help support economic growth.”

Initially starting in Northampton it is also anticipated that the technology could be rolled-out across the county.

Funding has come through a combination of Local Growth Deal funding, with support from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and Government, and income from new developments.

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