The Alan Turing Institute has been commissioned by Active Travel England to create new software and data science techniques to support local authority delivery of walking, wheeling and cycling schemes.
The collaboration, which will run for two years at a total cost of £200,000, will support Active Travel England and councils to deliver schemes that are strongly evidence-based and will deliver the most benefits for residents. This will enable the development of new functionality in the Active Travel Infrastructure Platform (ATIP), which helps councils to map out proposed schemes and see the impact they could have locally.
The tools will be paired with existing data sources such as OpenStreetMap to create innovative solutions that will help build the evidence needed to meet national government’s objectives on active travel, including for 50% of short trips in urban areas to be made by walking, wheeling and cycling by 2030.
The investment is intended to demonstrate how new software engineering and data science techniques can support evidence-based planning and support Active Travel England’s mission.
Active travel minister Jesse Norman recently attended an event at the Alan Turing Institute. He was able to test the technology that Active Travel England’s head of data Dr Robin Lovelace and Alan Turing Institute developer Dustin Carlino have been working on.m
Norman, said: “I hugely welcome this new partnership, which will enable local councils to draw on the latest technology and maximise the environmental, economic and health benefits of active travel.”
Active Travel England’s chief executive, Danny Williams, said: “This exciting new collaboration will help to accelerate progress towards our vision of making walking, wheeling and cycling the natural choice for short trips nationwide.
“The Active Travel Infrastructure Platform is going to save councils’ time, improve local decision-making and enable evidence-based decisions to be made that will have maximum impact.”
The Alan Turing Institute’s chief scientist, Professor Mark Girolami, added: “We are excited to be partnering with Active Travel England to develop new data science tools and software that will support the shared mission to make active travel more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Open-source software developed through this collaboration will enable the UK to set the agenda internationally.”
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