Highways England invites ideas for £20m digital roads project

Written by Sam Trendall on 12 February 2019 in News
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Government-owned company invites entries to funding contest

Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/PA Images

Highways England is inviting bids for a slice of a £20m funding pot to be dedicated to digital roads projects.

The government-owned company is seeking entries for a contest to award money to proposals in six areas: road design, construction, and maintenance; autonomous or connected vehicles; traveller mobility; environment and energy use; air quality; and highway operations.

The competition will run in two streams – one for proven solutions ready for further development, and another for “unproven feasibility projects”. In the latter case, ideas that prove their feasibility will be able to bid for further funding in due course.


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Proposals must be designed for implementation on England’s network of motorways and major A roads. Possible examples cited by Highways England include self-repairing roads, robotic construction models, improving connections between different forms of transport.

Mike Wilson, the company’s executive director for safety, engineering and standards, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs, collaborative partnerships, and organisations of any size to help shape the roads of the future. We want to explore new and innovative approaches and invest in the best. And we’re keen to engage with a wider network than we have traditionally worked with. Together we can make great improvements both to people’s journeys and communities and the environment around our network.”

The contest, which is accepting bids from 11 February to 8 May, is being administered by government innovation agency Innovate UK.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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