University develop ‘Virtual Queue’ to help traffic conditions after Brexit.

The University of Kent’s business and computing schools have joined together to create a virtual queuing system that aims to reduce the impact of gridlock in Kent after Brexit.

Photo by Geograph

The proposal was drafted by Simon Barnes, who has been working on the project since July 2018.

This digital system would mean that vehicles could join the virtual queue once they set out on their journeys. When delays form around Dover and the Channel Tunnel, drivers could be alerted and then held in different areas before entering the county. This means that vehicles could be released in a fair and structured way, allowing drivers to take either breaks or different routes instead of being stuck in standstill traffic.

Mr Barnes stated that the virtual queue would mean that vehicles could be “proactively managed” in a similar way to a theme park that offers tokens rather than hours of queuing.

The virtual queue would be organised via an app, so it would be accessible to drivers.

As Brexit approaches, the need for a system like this is growing. Dover and the Channel Tunnel have the highest volume of freight entering and leaving other European countries. This means that after the UK’s departure from the EU, delays at their borders could create congestion that will cause gridlock on the roads.

Regular delays of up to twelve hours may occur and this disruption is expected to last anywhere between a few weeks and six months, depending on the conditions that the UK leaves with.

The virtual queue is an innovative aid to the disruption that Brexit will cause. The system offers a fair solution to long and tedious queues and would ensure it is upheld by issuing penalties to drivers that ignore the scheme. Furthermore, the forecast of traffic news and control would be more accurate and up to date, allowing drivers to choose whether they travel after having heard the traffic conditions.

It is hoped, depending on the quality of the data used by the app, that the virtual queue will begin testing in the next three to six months.

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