From self-driving cars to digital motorways, our roads are changing – and will need to change even more to meet the challenges of the future.
Maybe there’ll be more sustainable materials we could use – that are easier to maintain and fix.
Just think, no more potholes!
We could design our roads to protect them from extreme weather, reduce emissions and also protect wildlife.
We asked for your ideas about how to build better roads in the years to come.
Your entries were judged by the team at Rees Jeffery Road Fund.
Have a listen below to hear what our judge, Andy Graham from Rees Jeffery Road Fund, had to say about your entries!
“We could have a recharging strip in the road like a giant Scalextric.”Embed from Getty Images
The judges thought this was a supercharged idea.
Interestingly, that idea is being looked into right now!
They’re thinking about putting special strips in the road, kind of like the tracks in a Scalextric. It’s known as “inductive charging” which is a bit like when you put your phone on a charging mat.
It can cost a lot of money to set up, but the good news is, you don’t need it everywhere!
It’s a great idea from Mark.
“Solar panels along the road which power overhead lines for charging electric cars. They can also be used for powering buildings nearby and when they’re overhead they create shade. This would protect the road and make motorists cool. Put fences around the motorway to stop wildlife walking on to the road to get injured. Build tunnels under the road so rabbits, toads and other animals can pass by.”Embed from Getty Images
Powering vehicles from solar and Scalextrics, and the idea of recycling roads are ideas that really made us smile!
They’re things that people have started to look at elsewhere because they’re such good ideas.
Catherine and Amber came up with the idea of making roads better equipped to cope with and to stop flooding and reduce spray.
“A porous surface that doesn’t create potholes and could also drain rain to avoid flooding and car accidents on wet roads.”Embed from Getty Images
“Under tarmac heating, like underfloor heating to melt ice and snow quickly.”Embed from Getty Images
Great ideas guys, especially with a changing climate…
“My idea is to use materials that are recycled to help build future roads. Recycling can get thrown in the water or is not repurposed. If people knew recycling can help improve future roads for the planet or cars, then they may feel like recycling more. People are always going to produce waste, so future materials can be used from people’s waste. More bins could be placed at service stations, fuel pumps and parking areas that explains how people’s rubbish can improve roads…”Embed from Getty Images
Rhys Jeffries Road Fund is very much aligned with that because we funded several projects that are looking at exactly that.
How do we make roads out of plastic for example?
Good one there, Jamie!
From recycling to ribbits…
“I would make bridges of lily pads to help frogs cross the road.”
A froggy fast track – how cool is that?
Summer also had some ideas about how to help our furry friends…
“Wet and dry tunnels in different sizes and at different levels under main roads to encourage different animals to go through them rather than cross the road.”
Sounds like a super furry subway!
Simi thought about wildlife too in her entry…
“I think builders should dig holes underneath the roads so that different animals can go through and get back on the other side so they won’t get injured by the cars. For dear there will be lights, lighting up the whole way so they can easily get past. That’s my idea.”Embed from Getty Images
Really good reminders of what we need to do to keep wildlife safe on the roads.
We’ve been doing some of that for some time, but we really need to look at ourselves and the road industry and say, are we doing enough?
There’s quite a few tunnels that have been installed in new roads, particularly for things like badgers and also for newts.
There’s a lot of thinking we could do about making the roads more environmentally safe for smaller animals.
Eliya was thinking about other ways to keep everyone moving whether furry or human…
“I would make roads that have escalators on them. Then traffic would be able to keep moving even if the cars are stuck in a traffic jam as the jam could move on the escalator.”
Could be a solution for a sticky situation…Embed from Getty Images
Anay and Jasmin really took to the skies with their ideas about how to fast track the traffic…
“Have roads above the ground like bridges, flyovers between major cities, long haul specific roads London, Birmingham, Manchester with the only exits are to these cities and refuelling, eating rest areas.”Embed from Getty Images
Jasmin’s also reached the heights…
“We could have flyovers in cities where roads are built above ground taking you away from city centre heavy traffic and out of the city with no congestion or reduced congestion.”
“I would paint messages such as SLOW across the middle of the road instead of being hidden by parked cars.”Embed from Getty Images
A great easy solution but they’re also a foundation for things that I work on.
So for example, you might not be able to see words written like slow because there’s a car parked over them.
But using in-car-technology that I work on, that message might pop up on your windscreen.
Benjamin suggested lighting up the hard shoulder when someone has stopped ahead in it.
A great suggestion to keep drivers safe.Embed from Getty Images
“My idea is that, in traffic jams on the motorway, from the service stations, there could be little drones parked up, and they could fly and deliver some water and maybe snacks. I was once stuck in a traffic jam for 10 hours and I didn’t have any water.”Embed from Getty Images
We’ve started to use drones already in roads for things like trying to look at the impact of accidents, but also for looking underneath bridges. It’s very difficult to get there.
So the idea of delivering some kind of essential aid for people who are stuck in congestion is a really interesting one.
We do have traffic officers who have vehicles that sometimes do that, and particularly if it’s hot, but who knows, in the future we might have some more drones as well.
A big well done!
You drove us wild with your amazing suggestions so give yourself round of applause!
We would like to announce that the main winner, who has won a Hot Wheels Race Crate, is…