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Medway is one step closer to becoming a smart city

25 July 2017

Medway Council has bid for government funding to update and introduce smart technology on Medway’s roads.

The council has taken one step closer to being a smart city and submitted an initial proposal for the National Productivity Infrastructure Fund, which was announced in the autumn budget.

The funding aims to cut congestion, and improve roads and journey time. A key part of the fund is to put in place improved transport links, including better roads that will help people access work, school and services.

Smart technology will help reduce journey time and ease congestion

The council proposes to introduce smart technology infrastructure on Medway’s key A2 road, on the east to west carriageway, to reduce journey time and ease congestion. This will also support the council’s work to improve air quality in the area. The new technology will work in collaboration with the three existing Air Quality Management Areas to tackle the health and economic impact of pollution.

Medway is growing at a rapid pace and the towns are forecast to grow by 50,000 residents by 2035. The growth and economic development of Medway creates challenges for the current road provision. If the funding bid is successful, the council will use the funding to ensure Medway’s roads are fit for the future. 

Smart technology has already had a positive effect in Medway; average speed cameras have helped to reduce speed traffic accidents and improve road safety. The council has proposed a range of measures to implement smart technology, including improved CCTV provision and more reactive traffic signalling to help reduce congestion and improve journey time.

Planning for the future

Cllr Phil Filmer, Portfolio Holder covering Transport Strategy, said: “The population of Medway is anticipated to significantly grow over the next couple of decades and it is important we continue to plan for the future. Our vision is to install smart technology along the A2 from Strood to Rainham to help reduce congestion and air pollution. We have applied for a grant from the government’s new National Productivity Infrastructure Fund and if successful there will be smart technology along Medway’s roads in the future.”

When releasing the fund, Transport Minister Andrew Jones remarked, “Roads play a significant part in everyday life linking people with jobs and businesses with customers, which is why this government is investing record amounts improving and maintaining highways across the country to help motorists.”

The funding allocated will ensure that roads are fit for the future and help to build an economy that works for everyone. Successful allocations of this fund will be announced later this year on the gov.uk website.