Dutch Firm Design ‘Smart,’ Glow-in-the-Dark Highway

The first prototype of the Netherlands’ “Smart Highway” – featuring a glow-in-the-dark roadway using temperature-sensitive paint – was open for public viewing during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The design will first be implemented on a section of highway in the Netherlands’ Brabant province in mid-2013. The Smart Highway concept, created by design firm Studio Roosegaarde and infrastructure management firm Heijmans, captured the Dutch Design Award for best future concept. The goal of the Smart Highway project is to make roads more safe, interactive and sustainable by using interactive lights, smart energy and road signs that adapt to specific traffic situations. Over the next five years, this will be accomplished employing such innovations as glow-in-the-dark roads, dynamic paint, interactive lights that switch on as vehicles approach, induction priority lanes for electric vehicles, and wind-powered lights, according to Studio Roosegaarde. The Dutch design firm…

80mph motorway speed limit not ruled out by DfT

The Government says it is still considering the merits of increasing the motorway speed limit from 70mph to 80mph, despite reports that a U-turn could be in the offing. The idea was first mooted less than a year ago, when the former transport secretary Philip Hammond claimed the increase would be good for business. However, Patrick McLoughlin, who assumed the top job at the Department for Transport (DfT) following the recent cabinet reshuffle, appears less than convinced. He said what was important was that “we never lose sight about the issue of safety on our roads” and that safety was “paramount” to his thinking. Meanwhile a DfT spokesman said it was currently working on an impact assessment of an 80mph speed limit on sections of the motorway network with variable speed limits and considering the criteria for where and under what conditions the 80mph…