York has been selected by the government’s Department for Transport (DfT) to trial new technology that could revolutionise the way we manage traffic flow and digital technology in vehicles in England.
The DfT announced today that City of York Council (CYC) was successfully awarded a share of £2million funding from the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems grant (CITS) to lead on this special project.
The £300k funding will be used to gather research, intelligence and data in York over a two year period from April.
The aim of the trial is to demonstrate that the new technology will improve traffic flow, congestion, road safety and online connectivity.
The trial in York will focus on the A59 corridor from the Park & Ride site to Holgate Bridge. It will start by using location data collected from vehicles monitored by company INRIX Ltd, which monitors traffic flow across Europe, and are one of the project’s partners to trial better phasing of traffic signals.
In later stages, parts of CYC’s fleet and other vehicles will be fitted with communications to allow them to ‘speak’ to traffic signals along the A59. The trial will also provide the commercial partners in the project from across the country with the opportunity to showcase their products here in York.
The news that Sky/TalkTalk are to launch an ultrafast broadband service in the City, possibly as early as next year, is welcome.
The high speeds on offer will be a boon to businesses in the City particularly those in the technology reliant sectors.
It may also provide a boost for “home workers”.
The City has many broadband providers but the domestic market is dominated by the BT network and Virgin.
Virgin in particular provides a high speed service – shortly to increase to 150 mps in some areas – which most leisure/domestic users will find adequate. It comes at a price though.
Competition is generally good for the consumer.
There may, however, be some downsides.
Unless the new network provider – CityFibre – can utilise existing utility ducts, we could be in for another period of damaged footpaths. NTL (Virgins predecessor) didn’t win many friends as it ploughed up the City’s streets nearly 20 years ago.
A technique called “micro trenching” will apparently be used (details here)
And pricing will be important. Commercial users will take a hardnosed approach.
Residents living in the suburbs and villages around York may, however, find that the market simply couldn’t fund the new infrastructure at this point in time.
We will see.
In the meantime the Council Leadership is promising “citywide” coverage.
York is to to welcome highly regarded technology speakers who will share their knowledge with York firms over a free business lunch on Thursday 5 September.
To register your attendance visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/7239201647.
The event will see Jonathan Mitchener and Nick Bassett speak to York firms about their experiences with The Technology Strategy Board.
The Government backed Technology Strategy Board drives high-impact investments in innovation projects and businesses across the UK, with a headline budget of £500m a year.