How ITS can benefit from billions in UK public money in the next seven years


The UK government’s plans for promoting technological growth mean conditions are ripe for the ITS industry to demonstrate its capabilities and attract huge investment, a senior civil servant has told the nation’s industry leaders.

Delivering the keynote address at the Transport Technology Forum (TTF) in Bristol yesterday, the Department for Transport’s (DfT) chief scientific adviser Phil Blythe told the audience that technological spending is set to rise by 0.8% in GDP by 2027 across government.

He said, “I don’t think there has been a better time to be in government from a technology point of view. They really want to push and invest in the areas we have expertise in and we can grow. There is an ambition that the investment in science and technology across government will grow from 1.6% to 2.4% GDP by 2027.

“But we need good use cases and the stuff that you’re doing to inform where we go next, where are the success cases and how can we grow these.”

A particular area of focus for the government is cutting the UK’s carbon emissions, so much so, that it is having a major influence on where investments are made across departments.

According to Blythe, given the lagging behind of the transport industry in cutting emissions, the sector could be set for significant changes.

“Decarbonisation is a big challenge, I can’t emphasise enough how big this is”, he said. “We know it is a global challenge but in government it is critical.

“A lot of this spending round in all sorts of different ways is all to do with decarbonisation and the reason it is important from a transport point of view is that many of the other sectors have decarbonised well but domestic transport hasn’t.

“That’s a combination of having more cars on the road but also they’re gradually getting heavier with all of these SUVs that everybody is buying. So 33% of domestic emissions come from transport, 86% of those come from road transport so dealing with the car and the environment is really important.”

Bringing together leaders in ITS and traffic technology from both the public and private sector, the TTF took place from the 4-5 March this week. To watch a video of RAC Foundation director and TTF chair, Steve Gooding talk about the significance of the event, click HERE

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James joined the Traffic Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.