30th June 2011

AccessAdvisr – seeking to improve information on accessible travel

Viv Alexander

Wondering what our ‘How can we improve transport in Britain? GeoVation Challenge winners have been up to since May?  Neil Taylor from Integrated Transport Planning tells us more about what has been happening with AccessAdvisr over the last month:

Access Adviser logoSince learning that AccessAdvisr had received funding through the GeoVation competition we have been putting the foundations in place to enable our delivery of a proof of concept product in Nottingham over the next 6 months.  This chiefly involved pulling together a tightly focused expenditure and deliverable plan so that both we, and our sponsors, have a common understanding of what we are delivering in return for the funding.

We have spent a lot of time talking to interesting contacts at Nottingham City Council, Loughborough and Nottingham Universities, the RNIB and local mobility impairment groups.  The result is a fantastic series of offers of help and support for the proof of concept product we will be developing.  Our recent chat with RNIB’s innovation team has given us the confidence that we can make AccessAdvisr as visually accessible as possible for people with sight and reading impairments – clearly an important feature for a website and smartphone app that intends to improve the quality and richness of information about accessible transport networks.  Our growing network of contacts here in Nottingham (and elsewhere in the UK) means we are already looking forward to engaging with potential service users through a live trial of AccessAdvisr later in the autumn.

We have also spent a good portion of time in month 1 re-analysing some of our own previous user-needs research.  Blowing the dust off focus group and depth-interview reports produced over the last 10 years has given us the opportunity to revisit what people have previously told us about barriers that prevent them from getting around.  We will be combining this information with practical research undertaken through major research projects such as AuntSue to define the types of information that would make independent travel easier, and exploring how AccessAdvisr can address some of these issues.

Over the course of the next month we will be developing the technical and functional specification for AccessAdvisr.  We will also be appointing an app developer (we are in the process of finding out where they hang out, what they eat/drink, etc!) to work as part of our team to help us bring the proof of concept version of AccessAdvisr to life.  We’ll keep you posted on how things go through the GeoVation Blog.

Neil Taylor (left) and Jon Parker (right) of ITP receive the award

Neil Taylor (left) and Jon Parker (right) of ITP receive the award

In the meantime if you want to learn more about AccessAdvisr, then please contact Neil Taylor at ITP on 0115 9886903, or email: taylor@itpworld.netNeil Taylor, Integrated Transport Planning Ltd.