Drivers will avoid being stuck in lengthy traffic jams as part of hi-tech government plan to bypass roadworks

Frustrated motorists will be able to swerve disruptive hold-ups following a £10 million investment launching next year.

Ministers are backing the Street Manager service that will provide real-time data free for tech firms and app developers – saving drivers hundreds of pounds a year. It will replace an out-of-date system currently used by local authorities and utility firms to share data on the countries’ 2.5 million roadworks.

Planning for roadworks is also set to be better co-ordinated and prevent drivers getting caught up in knock-on roadworks. Aids including Google maps and Waze will have access to the information. Satnavs and smartphones are also likely to benefit from the changes allowing motorists to choose a new route.

Roadworks cost the economy £4 billion as employees are late for work and deliveries are delayed. A typical motorist faces £1,168 in costs for sitting in queues wasting fuel and time, research from traffic experts Inrix found earlier this year.

London had the longest hold-ups last year with motorists stuck in rush hour traffic for 74 hours every year.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “Roadworks can often be frustrating for motorists, especially when they cause hold-ups at busy times and delay journeys.

“We want to reduce this disruption and delay, and Street Manager is just one of a number of actions we are taking so that local authorities and utility companies can better plan and manage their roadworks.

“The data opened up by this new digital service should enable motorists to plan their journeys better, so they can avoid works and get to their destinations more easily.”

Ministers are also today publishing new guidance on lane rental schemes including a new calculator for assessing costs and benefits. The schemes see utility firms charged £2,500 for carrying out roadworks at the busiest times.

Utility firms are more likely to work with town halls to avoid charges and work at quieter times. A pilot scheme in Kent and London saw congestion on the busiest roads drop by half.

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