The Department for Transport and Innovate UK are committing to maximising the value of technology in transport by investing in the future of the Transport Technology Forum.
The funding, valued at £350,000 per year for up to three years, was revealed by TTF Manager Darren Capes of the DfT as part of his speech at the Strictly Highways Event in Blackpool.
It was a fitting event for the announcement to take place, given the annual gathering is delivered by the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG), and the million pounds will be granted to LCRIG to run services for the TTF.
“The million pounds will support and grow TTF over the next three years and help authorities deliver technology,” Mr Capes said. “The TTF has a great future, and has a great secretariat and a great opportunity to take this forward. If you’re not already involved in the TTF, get involved – it’s there for you to have a conversation with government and deliver technology.”
Mr Capes, who is ITS Policy Lead at Department for Transport, told the conference his role is to think about local authorities and how they prepare for the future. “If you look at the challenges we’re facing, we can get a feel as to where technology is going to go. We need to think about carbon, the end of ICE vehicles, and about EV charging.
“We need to promote a transport system that is fair and equitable and open to all, that works in rural as well as urban areas, that works in a less conventional world where we don’t all go to the office 9 to 5.
“We should think about the network to move people and not vehicles.”
Mr Capes talked about connected vehicles which gives potential for GLOSA and better travel information. He discussed the CAM 2025 (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles 2025) talked about how to do transport better and how to work better with the technology to come. He explained the National Access Point to collect and share data and the digitalisation of Traffic Regulation Orders.
“We need to be masters of our destiny, and use technology to make us run the network better,” he said. “We are thinking about it, and have set up the Transport Technology Forum so government can support this work and support the sector. It’s so government and our partners in Innovate UK can liaise with local authorities and suppliers in a way that is useful to you, and how you can get funding.”
Mr Capes explained the TTF’s work – its conferences and its Working Groups which are helping bridge the gap between Central and Local Government and it’s work through the years. He discussed how LCRIG has successfully delivers TTF, and praised its successes, saying the “brilliant delivery” of Strictly Highways shows its value and ability.
LCRIG Chief Executive Martin Duffy said, “We have been working closely with and on behalf of the Transport Technology Forum (TTF) for quite a while now and this formal agreement cements our already strong relationship.
“Links between central and local government really are key to ensuring ongoing improvements in the roads sector. This level of investment will enable us to push forward and do more on behalf of our members and the wider industry.
“As councils continue to face funding challenges both groups will play a key role in helping to facilitate collaboration and innovation. We look forward to continuing to play a key role in driving change in the sector alongside our colleagues from TTF.”
(Picture – TTF)