The U.K. government has invested almost $1.3 billion in a new digital service that will help drivers plan their journeys better without having to run into roadworks. 

The service is named Street Manager, and it will be instrumental in reducing and eventually culling the long traffic jams that result due to roadworks. It will be a free service, syncing real-time traffic data with navigation service providers like Google and Waze allowing them to relay enhanced route guidance to their user base. The Department of Transport says that new apps could also be created to make the best use of the service, with road users receiving push notifications that would help them avoid being caught up in roadworks.

The average UK motorist currently spends 32 hours a year stuck in traffic jams. The Department of Transport claims the current system used by utility companies and local authorities to alert drivers about roadwork-related traffic is “costly and ineffective”. The new digital service under development will accurately record the 2.5 million roadworks in progress in the United Kingdom every year.  Google-owned Waze currently utilises driver-generated reports of incidents to help inform other motorists of traffic delays. Google Maps, on the other hand, records positional data from phones it is installed in to calculate traffic flow and density, providing a rough estimate of how crowded a particular street is at any time of the day.

Elaborating on the Street Manager service, roads minister Jesse Norman said: “Roadworks can often be frustrating for motorists, especially when they cause hold-ups at busy times and delay journeys. We want to reduce this disruption and delay, and Street Manager is just one of a number of actions we are taking so that local authorities and utility companies can better plan and manage their roadworks.” Norman also added: “The data opened up by this new digital service should enable motorists to plan their journeys better, so they can avoid works and get to their destinations more easily.”

Featured Image: Evening Telegraph