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Local authorities step up with support for DfT’s call for transport data

06 April 2020
 

The Department for Transport says it received an “overwhelming” reaction to its call for local authorities to share data during the coronavirus crisis.

ITS (UK) made an appeal for members to share travel and parking data to help understand patterns during the lockdown. The DfT was keen to source data sets in the following areas, especially for local roads:

  • Traffic flow (i.e. count, not speed)
  • Traffic movement (e.g. trip length and overall distance)
  • Parking
  • Cycle and pedestrian movements

Authorities and companies reacted within 24 hours with enough information to fulfil the DfT’s requirements.

The DfT’s Chief Scientist Professor, Phil Blythe, said: “ITS (UK)’s assistance was much appreciated. Its publicity helped us to quickly start working with a number of organisations and individuals who came forward to assist us.  The industry really did step up to the mark.”

Andy Graham of White Willow Consulting, who is co-ordinating the effort for the department, said: “Before I could finish reading an email, another three came in.  I am so grateful to all who helped deliver what we needed, now we can work on getting a true understanding of new travel patterns in the country.”

Working via the Transport Technology Forum, the DfT is now analysing the data and supplying results to the scientists managing the COVIF-19 response.  At present, no more new data is required.

Jennie Martin, Secretary General of ITS (UK), said: “Having a range of organisations as members, from the DfT through local authorities, consultants and suppliers, to micro-SMEs like White Willow, means we can mobilise the right support at the right time, whatever the requirement.”

 
 
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