Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 23rd October 2023
A cutting-edge system to ensure faster and safer traffic flows across our region has been expanded.
The Urban Traffic Management and Control System, based in Middlesbrough, can display 32 individual CCTV feeds from across the Tees Valley – with technology which can change traffic lights, improve traffic flows, and work with emergency services.
Led by Middlesbrough Council in its Fountain Court headquarters, the control room also prioritises buses at lights, works with police, and collects valuable data to improve urban planning.
A £500,000 boost from the Department for Transport (DfT) ensured more than 40 devices were improved and upgraded this year – with the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) providing £3.5million for the programme.
More than 300 extra cameras across the Tees Valley will be connected to the UTMC network by March next year.
Work comes after the UTMC control room was relaunched in late 2022 – with up to 12 screens in operation at any one time.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It was fantastic to see how far our money is going to keep Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool moving.
“We’re always keen to embrace technology at the very limits of what we can achieve – and the UTMC is doing exactly what it says on the tin.
“It’s ensuring we can boost safety for local people by reducing abrupt stops on roads, easing traffic backlogs by adjusting traffic lights and telling drivers about alternative routes, and working with our police to help detect and disrupt criminals.
“Crucially, it will also be able to bolster our freeport by steering freight faster through our network at key times, and improve our public transport network by ensuring buses are let through as fast as possible.”
Future work in the system will look at car park use, and collaborations with Network Rail on the region’s level crossings.
Cllr Steve Harker, Leader of Darlington Borough Council and TVCA Cabinet portfolio holder for Transport, added: “I’m pleased to see the UTMC is developing as part of our wider transport delivery plan.
“We need to embrace technology to work smarter and harder for everyone in the Tees Valley. We need to do everything in our power to ensure people are encouraged to use public transport with quicker, more predictable and reliable journeys.”
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