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DfT study to assess data value of traffic regulation orders


Mark Moran
26 October 2018

The Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned the creation of an evidence base to unlock the value of Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) data. 

The DfT wants to ensure that there is harmonisation and standardisation of TRO data, as well as a clear exchange of information. The study will be a collaboration undertaken in partnership with GeoPlace, Ordnance Survey and the British Parking Association (BPA).

The TRO project follows recommendations from the North Highland Local Authority Transport Data Discovery report, published in August 2018, which looked at local authority transport data and how open that is. The report tested the hypothesis that there is benefit in greater sharing of local authorities’ transport data. The outcome showed the market for data for local authorities is immature, waiting for development and needs strong leadership to do that.

Two recommendations from the report are relevant to the parking sector. 

The first was about creating a framework of standards for local authorities to support current and future services by building on existing local authority transport data systems to enable interoperable, integrated and connected transport services. A key challenge is that TRO data is not standardised among local authorities, meaning it is fragmented.

The second recommendation called for the streamlining and digitisation of TROs. It was recommended that the DfT sponsor a programme of work supporting local authorities in digitising their TROs, whilst also streamlining the current legislative process to implement or amend a TRO.

GeoPlace, which is a partnership between the Local Government Association (LGA) and Ordnance Survey, oversees the production and maintenance of the national address and street gazetteers in England and Wales.

Julian O’Kelly, the BPA’s head of technology, is the programme manager for the project. He said: “The BPA is delighted to coordinate this collaboration. We will be working with our partners to engage with the wide range of organisations who initiate and use TROs, where we will be keen to learn from best practice.

“We will aim to address many of the challenges and inconsistences found across the country in the way in which TROs are presented and managed, through the development of standards and guidelines in this key area for the world of parking, mobility, connected and automated vehicles.”

The discovery phase of the work started in November 2018 and runs until March 2019, with a report due in April 2019.

(This story was updated on 4 December 2018)

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