Gov launches £4.5m trial of 'plastic road' tech to fight potholes
Over £22 million of government funding has been invested to test new tech on UK roads.
The funding will power a trial of ‘plastic road’ technology, as well as using kinetic energy from roads to power lighting and using geothermal energy to keep car parks and bus stations from freezing over.
Real-world tests of new road surfaces and technologies in eight local authorities will see which emerging innovations provide long-term solutions.
Buckinghamshire council would work with Transport Catapult Systems and an innovative partner to manufacture recycled plastic and composite columns to mount lighting sensors, 5G antenna and large format schemes in public areas.
They will also use sensors to collect data across their highway network including the use of a central management data system to collect data on air quality, road surface temperature, ANPR, CCTV.
The Live Labs projects will be delivered by councils — including Kent, Staffordshire, Reading, Suffolk and Solihull and Birmingham — and if successful, could be adopted by other authorities.
“Potholes are the number one enemy for road users and this government is looking at numerous ways to keep our roads in the best condition,” said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.
“Today’s trials will see how new technologies work in the real world to ensure our roads are built for the 21st century.”
In the Budget in November, the Chancellor announced an additional £420 million for road maintenance for 2018 to 2019 financial year.
This brings the total funding for pothole repair and roads maintenance, including the Live Labs project, from 2015 to 2020 up to £6.6 billion.