Funding for advanced technology to aid traffic

Somerset County Council has received £290,000 of funding from the Department for Transport to support technology to cut congestion, speed up journeys and clean up the environment.

The funding will enable EDF Energy’s HGVs and park-and-ride buses to use innovative on board technology that will communicate with traffic lights to provide advance phase and timing information that will create a clear flow of traffic for all motorists by controlling the start/stop of EDF Energy’s vehicle movements.

The technology will be used along the A38/A39, on the route to Hinkley Point C from South Bridgwater through key intersections: Taunton Road at Huntworth Roundabout and East at the Broadway Junction to the A39 along Quantock Road to Cannington by-pass.

The scheme aims to reduce the impact on local motorists through more efficient control of the start/stop movements of EDF Energy’s buses and lorries. It will also improve their journey times, fuel consumption, and emissions by enhancing the existing traffic light and management system, and providing on board, in-vehicle phase and timing information to the vehicles.

Councillor David Fothergill, Cabinet Member for Highways at Somerset County Council, said: “The funding is great news for Bridgwater.

“This scheme is one of the first of its kind due to the number and frequency of HGVs and park and ride vehicles involved.

“The advanced technology will massively help to maintain vehicle flow as well as reducing fuel consumption emissions.  The scheme will be up and running as soon as possible.”

David Eccles, EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C Head of Stakeholder Engagement said: “This technology is designed to improve the flow of traffic through the town and will hopefully reduce journey times for local people, as well as our buses and lorries.

“It will also help to reduce congestion in Bridgwater and cut emissions from our vehicles by limiting the number of times they have to stop and start at traffic lights.”