NEW congestion-busting smart technology will be installed at a busy Lower Gornal junction.

The £150,000 scheme on the B4176, at the junction of Himley Road and Bull Street, has been given the green light after Dudley Council's £90,000 funding application was approved at a meeting of the Black Country LEP executive joint committee on Wednesday.

The council will stump up the other £60,000.

Design work has been completed for the scheme and it is hoped the work will start later this year.

There will be no physical changes to the four-way junction in terms of road widening or extra lanes but the existing traffic lights will be ripped out and new signals and detection equipment will be installed.

The new smart technology will monitor traffic levels and queues at each junction to make split-second decisions on how long each green light should stay on for - currently each light at the crossroads stays on for the same amount of time, irrespective of traffic flows and times of the day.

Alan Lunt, the council's strategic director for place, said: “We are delighted to have secured the funding for this very important improvement scheme, and hope to start work as soon as possible.

“The delays can be quite considerable at the moment along Himley Road, especially during rush hour. We want to try and get traffic through the junction more quickly than it is doing at the moment.

“Introducing this new technology should really bring big improvements to that junction and cut journey times for motorists.”

Of the council’s £60,000 contribution to the scheme, £35,000 will come from grant funding via Transport for West Midlands. The remaining £25,000 is via section 106 contributions from developers looking to invest and build in the borough.

The new technology has already been deployed to make improvements on other busy junctions, including the Jews Lane/Burton Road interchange in Upper Gornal.

It is also being used at Merry Hill.