Challenges and benefits of Digital Local Roads
The transport industry is facing unprecedented challenges from climate change, budgetary pressures, and the pace of technological development. If action is not taken the backlog of current issues will continue to grow while Local Authority budgets continue to shrink and the demand for the critical services they provide increases. These challenges are therefore providing drivers for change across Local Authority road networks.There is an opportunity to meet these challenges by harnessing the growth in connected digital technologies, for which the term Digital Local Roads has been adopted. This report examines the 'Digital Local Roads' concept and how we can begin to meet these challenges through Digital Local Roads.
Consultation with Local Authorities and wider industry stakeholders has explored the challenges being faced by Local Authorities (LAs) across the range of local transport activities, and the consequent drivers for the adoption of Digital Local Roads. A wide range of potential Digital Local Roads solutions are highlighted, with key benefits including the ability to support greater collaboration and data sharing between authorities, improved asset management, social benefits, improving user experience, and supporting environmental improvements. However, a number of barriers to achieving these benefits are also identified – with Local Authority stakeholders highlighting funding for Digital Local Roads and the collaboration needed to implement solutions as particularly significant barriers.