Councils To Track Your Mobile Phone To Stop Traffic Jams

Mon 23rd Apr 2018

A new government backed initiative could give councils access to your mobile phone and sat nav data in order to reduce traffic jams.

The project, which is being trialled in York, will sync traffic lights based on live road activity in the hope of reducing congestion on Britain’s roads.

The UK Government is giving the go-ahead for two schemes, which sees data collected anonymously from mobile phones and sat navs.

Councillor Ian Gillies from City of York Council, said: “This will make York one of the most advanced cities in the country.

"Being able to build things like traffic light signalling based on the journeys people really make every day will mean better decisions, less congestion and improved air quality.

“We can’t simply build more roads in the city, so this is a really innovative way to get the city moving as efficiently as possible.”

Though data is collected anonymously, drivers can opt out of the scheme by turning off their phone’s wi-fi and Bluetooth signals, which will prevent their location data from being recorded.

This is the first time that live data from vehicles has been used in the UK for traffic management and if successful could be rolled out across the rest of the country.

The scheme will get underway in June on York’s city centre roads and also the A59.

A DfT spokesman said: 'We are always looking at ways to use technology to revolutionise the way we travel.

"That's why we invested £3million in this innovative scheme in York, which will help us to explore how vehicle technology can be used to improve road networks for drivers."