16 November 2023 | Our Work

View from the top: Signals Funding, lots of hard work and proud moments

It would be remiss of me, not to mention that this week has been the Transport Technology Forum Autumn Update Conference.

This year’s Autumn Update was by far the biggest of the TTF update events, and covered a great mix of speakers from DfT policy areas including: the National Parking Platform, Data, Digital TROs update and other strategic transport technology policy areas.

We also heard from headline sponsors AppyWay, Zenzic and Sunderland City Council talking about their CAM project, the recent ITS-UK Export Study, as well as ERTICO talking about the decarbonization projects that they are leading in Europe. Dave Denner, from Welsh Government, represented the Nation’s STREETWISE Group, and talked to the audience about how Nations and National Road Operators collaborate, along with how they have recently been sharing how they are tackling obsolescence issues. In addition to the aforementioned speakers, the TTF Working Groups were part of a video and panel updating the audience on their Working Group progress.

But, the big news at the conference was the launch of the guidance and opening of the £70m Signals funding. For me it was a very proud moment for TTF, DfT and LCRIG with hard work by all parties. At 9am the official letter went from DfT to Local Authority Chief Executives, by 10:20am the brand spanking new TTF website went live with the guidance available to download ready for councils and combined authorities to read before submitting funding applications, and all done and ready during Darren Capes, ITS Policy lead, DfT morning session.

In the split-second time it took Darren to explain the process and show the weblink on his slides, thirty people had already downloaded the guidance! And this number increased as the morning went on. Local Authority attendees were being pinged with messages from colleagues back at their offices, and seamlessly people could see what they needed in order to access the funding. In addition, using LCRIG’s own Susanne and her legendary skills, DfT have also been able to email Signals Engineers (or appropriate contacts) just so that the time between seeing letters sent to Chief Executives could be minimized for bidding councils.

To say I am proud of the LCRIG team is an understatement for getting everything ready and organizing the fantastic event. But, I’m prouder still that we could support DfT, Darren and councils for this significant fund and of course, the trickle effect this will have into the supply chain.

But of course, as good as it is for there to be the opportunity of £70m Signals funding to bid against, the sector must embrace the process and in addition must be prepared to evidence the success of the spend too. If £15m spend from the previous fund was able to show evidence to Treasury of the merits of doing it again, at £70m just imagine what it could be next time!

You can find all the information around this fund through the links in this article, and on the Transport Technology Forum website.