Highways England set for more local collaboration on data


Highways England has announced plans to work more closely with local authorities and third parties to help integrate and develop its traffic information strategy.

The government-owned trunk road operator has outlined plans for future approaches to providing data to the public to help improve end-to-end journey information.

The strategy document released today states: ‘We expect to focus on the areas of personalised services, end-to-end journey planning and journey time information. This will require ever increasing collaboration and information integration with traffic data providers (like local authorities) and information services.

‘We will work with partner organisations to understand the benefits to be derived from data warehousing and the wider BIG data agenda, where multiple sources of data are brought together into one, as a way of delivering this increased integration.’

A Highways England spokesman told Transport Network the emphasis on end-to-end journey information would see more attempts to integrate traffic information for drivers entering and leaving the strategic road network an moving on to local highways.

‘We are looking to expand how we work with local authorities to see how we can provide information in those areas where the different networks join,’ he said, adding that it was too early to give any specifics on how this might be taken forward.

Highways England also states it will make ‘traffic data and information available to third parties to enable these companies to develop products and services for customers’.

However officials stressed there is no commercial element to this for Highways England. All the information it provides will be free of charge however its data is not totally open source.

Companies are invited to ‘come and have a conversation’ with Highways England over potential new apps or other innovations. Ongoing-research into drivers’ needs was also outlined in the document.

It states: ‘We will use customer insight to improve and develop ongoing provision of services. New services will only be delivered where there is a clear customer need, and we will seek to involve customers throughout the development cycle.

‘Of particular interest will be an increased awareness of how customers react when they receive information, as this will enable us to develop better targeted information services.’


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