A £3.64 million investment has been announced which will hopefully ease traffic congestion and cut journey times across the north east. 

The cash will be used to upgrade traffic signals on the region’s key routes. It will also be spent on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and variable message signs (VMS). 

In addition, the funding should enable the more efficient integration of data from public transport provider Nexus. 

New technology will mean that cameras can be monitored from a regional urban traffic management centre, enabling officers to adjust signal timings to improve traffic flow and to provide more reliable estimates of journey times to the public.

photo courtesy of Dave Dugdale at Flickr Creative Commons
All the region’s traffic cameras could be monitored from one centre (photo courtesy of Dave Dugdale at Flickr Creative Commons)

The money – £2.8 million of which is from the Department for Transport – will be spent in the North East Combined Authority (NECA) area.  

NECA is made up of the seven councils that control Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, County Durham, Sunderland and Northumberland. 

Newcastle City Council was responsible for submitting the bid for Department of Transport funding on behalf of NECA. It was one of 76 successful bids from across the UK, which will share £244 million of government funds.

Cllr Nick Forbes – the leader of Newcastle City Council and transport lead for NECA – said, “This funding is great news for commuters and business and will help cut journey times across the area.”

“We have a great facility here in the north east where we work together to monitor the traffic network across local authority boundaries. This new investment means we can connect up traffic signals across key routes so we can smooth our traffic flows where we see congestion building up and adjust traffic signals right across the network to keep traffic moving at peak periods.”

“Providing reliable journey times and improving connectivity across the region is also a real benefit for our local economy as it helps people to access jobs and training and supports the efficient transport of goods.”

(Featured image courtesy of Draco2008, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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