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18 April 2019

Quarter of Brits ‘would fund smart city solutions from tax’

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

Almost a quarter (24%) of British people would be willing to fund smart city solutions using their own tax contributions, according to new research from ATG Access.

Part of road barrier specialist ATG’s ‘Smart cities: Turning the dream into a reality’ report, the research found that more than half (57%) would be happy for their tax to go towards smart traffic lights, and 44% for smarter signs which give real-time traffic updates.

Nearly a quarter (24%) said they would also be willing to fund smart barriers that help with incident management, ATG says.

The company believes this shows that attitudes to smart city funding – in particular to improving transport infrastructure - are changing, with consumers more aware of the potential benefits in terms of congestion and security.

ATG says global spending on the smart city concept is expected to reach $135 billion by 2021 – but investment in the UK “has thus far been relatively slow with cost often cited as an issue”.

“Despite the obvious benefits of the concept, there are still some issues to be circumnavigated if the UK smart city is to make the transition from far-flung concept to reality - with funding uncertainties and costs a key issue,” says Gavin Hepburn, ATG’s managing director.

“But what is apparent from our research is that people clearly see the benefits of a smart city. The solutions are available and in the most part, proven and tested, so it is time we begin to look for ways to help fund and support these types of projects that facilitate a safer and smarter future for our British cities.”

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