UK government’s Transport Data Strategy to improve public transport access and innovation

Posted: 31 March 2023 | | No comments yet

The UK government’s Transport Data Strategy seeks to improve access and innovation in the transportation sector through greater use of data, with the aim to provide better services, support employment opportunities and tackle climate change.

UK Government Transport Data Strategy Improves Access and Innovation

The UK government has announced that passengers are set to benefit from improved access to digital apps and sites to help plan, pay and access the transport system thanks to its new Transport Data Strategy.

The Transport Data Strategy sets out plans for the greater use of data in transport and aims to improve how people find, use and get value from transport data to support greater innovation in the sector and deliver better services.

Better use of transport data use can improve interconnectivity between different types of transport, support the development of journey planning apps and improve their accuracy, ultimately helping to make it easier for people to use and plan journeys.

In addition, data can also help unlock additional benefits, such as new products and services for customers, while supporting employment opportunities in the transport sector. 

Transport Technology Minister Jesse Norman said: “Better use of transport data will help to improve journeys for travellers, tackle climate change and grow the economy. The Transport Data Strategy sets out the government’s vision in this area, creating the right framework for the market to innovate and transport users to benefit.”

Connecting people and places through data-driven urban mobility

The Transport Data Strategy focuses on five key ambitions, including:

  • Improving data sharing to benefit transport users
  • Promoting data standards
  • Improving data skills in the workforce
  • Ensuring appropriate governance and communication with the sector
  • Providing leadership and support for the sector.

As part of the strategy, the government is launching the ‘Find Transport Data’ pilot, a data catalogue to make it easier for innovators, researchers and others to find transport data, and ultimately deliver efficiencies and help improve services for customers.

The strategy builds on the progress the government has already made in facilitating the opening up of third-party data through initiatives, such as the Bus Open Data Service (BODS), Street Manager, the development of the Rail Data Marketplace and the modernisation of the National Public Transport Access Nodes (NaPTAN). The strategy also considers data ethics to help guide the sector to ensure that data is used appropriately and responsibly.

Head of Transport Innovation at Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), Chris Lane, said: “TfWM welcomes the Transport Data Strategy‘s goal of greater quality and use of transport data. We want to see journeys for everyone becoming so convenient, seamless and trusted, that users will often give up driving their personal vehicles, not because they have to, but because the alternative is better for them and the environment. A critical factor in achieving this is the customer receiving appropriate, accurate and timely information and having trust in the provider as they make their travel decisions.”

Along with the strategy, the UK government will publish a number of data sets and tools to help kickstart better data use in the public transport sector.