Officials are battling to keep to the timetable for sharing out £40m of Government funding to help English local authorities update their traffic signal equipment after nearly all eligible councils applied.
The cash – worth a total of £70m – was first announced in October and could fund improvements such as upgrading traffic signal systems, replacing unreliable and obsolete equipment, and tuning up signals to better reflect current traffic conditions.
All English councils and combined authorities outside London were able to apply for a share from two funds worth £20m each – the Traffic Signals Obsolescence Grant (TSOG) and Green Light Fund (GLF). Another £10m of TSOG will be automatically shared across all authorities.
The Transport Technology Forum (TTF), which is managing the process on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT), said 118 of the 121 eligible local authority areas applied either directly or via a combined authority.
TTF manager Darren Capes, who is ITS Policy Lead at the DfT, described this response as ‘incredible’.
He has written to inform the authorities who applied that the assessment team, managed by the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG), is now evaluating the applications and that he expects to be able to provide ‘an indicative list’ of the successful authorities by the end of the month.
Once authorities are informed, they will have 10 days to provide an initial programme of schemes, including projected start and end dates and costs. Authorities are expected to complete this before the funding is released. The funding will then be transferred to authorities to be spent in 2024-25 to 2025-26.
The TTF previously said the winners would be announced this month, with grant funding paid in full in March.
Mr Capes also told councils that detailed guidance for a further £20m from the Intelligent Traffic Management Fund (ITMF) will be published by mid-February.
The application process is due to open on 1 April and close on 30 June, as previously announced.