Berkshire to get almost £5 million to use in battle against potholes

Bid will use technology to help roads - and improve air quality

NEARLY £5m is to be spent in the battle against potholes on Berkshire’s roads.

The Government says the scheme will also help improve air quality in the Thames Valley.

New technology will be used alongside existing smart communications and data from traffic signal detectors to help.

The citation reads: “The proposal will utilise existing infrastructure and smart communication technology.

“Existing sources of data from traffic signal detectors will be fused with mobile phone data in order to provide a multi-modal view of real time movement across the Thames Valley.

“This will link with air quality data to produce a public health exposure model.

“The data is expected to inform transport, environment and planning projects throughout the Thames Valley region.”

Taking part in the trials will be Siemens, University of Reading, 02 Telefonica, Peter Brett Associates, Wyra, Smarter Grid Solutions, Wokingham Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, West Berks Council, Slough Borough Council, Royal Borough of Windsor Council, Thames Valley LEP and Shoothill.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said a total of £22.9million is being made available for research and trials on new surface materials or pothole repair across England.

“Potholes are the number one enemy for road users and this Government is looking at numerous ways to keep our roads in the best condition,” said Mr Grayling.

“Today’s trials will see how new technologies work in the real world to ensure our roads are built for the 21st century.”

The Live Labs projects will be delivered by councils including Reading and if successful, could be adopted by other authorities.

In the Budget in November, the Chancellor announced an additional £420 million for road maintenance for 2018/19 financial year.

This brings the total funding for pothole repair and roads maintenance, including the Live Labs project, from 2015 to 2020 up to £6.6 billion.

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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