Businesses can apply for a share of up to £250,000 to develop innovative new ways of using high-quality data to ease traffic congestion.

Traffic congestion is an issue across the UK, particularly in large urban areas where it adds to emissions and causes delays. It’s also hard to manage; a local transport report from the Department for Transport shows that many local authorities do not have reliable information on vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, and much of the research they do have has been carried out manually.

In response, this new challenge from the Department for Transport and the Royal Borough of Greenwich is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) aimed at finding innovative ways to understand and respond to traffic congestion.

Projects should be able to pull together high-quality data that’s easier to access and learn from than existing approaches. They should build understanding and improve responses to congestion while keeping affordability in mind. In particular, the competition is looking for ideas that:

  • support local authorities with real-time traffic analysis as well as longer term strategy
  • can be scaled up and applied to other authorities
  • consider how data could influence the behaviour of motorists across the country

The competition is likely to run in 2 phases, with the first phase focusing on feasibility studies and the second phase moving to prototype development and testing. In phase 1, up to 5 contracts will be awarded at up to £50,000 each.

Funding for the competition is provided by the GovTech Catalyst.

Find out more and apply here.

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