5th April 2011

How can we improve transport in Britain? The finalists ideas

Viv Alexander

Over the next week or so we are posting up some information on the ideas that were chosen to go forward to the GeoVation Showcase on 4 May.

Today, we have more from Ben Irvine of London Cycle Map Campaign, Luke Landers of  Personalised Travel Plans for Business and Abby Couriers with their parcel delivery idea.  There will be more ideas on the blog tomorrow.   If you want to see these and other ideas pitch for a share of £150 000 funding from Ideas in Transit plus an award for the best use of OS OpenData Register here for the GeoVation Showcase to be held at Ordnance Survey on 4 May.

London Cycle Map Campaign

Cycle Lifestyle’s campaign and petition promises to change the capital forever, by giving more people the confidence to cycle and to do so in safety. The big idea is to create a single ‘London Cycle Map’ that’s clear and easy to use and corresponds to a unified network of signed cycle routes throughout Greater London: the cycling equivalent of the London Underground map.Logos 4

A London Cycle Map would make cyclists much less vulnerable, because its network of routes would mostly use quieter roads, with signs telling drivers to what to expect. And navigating by bike would become so much easier, with the signs guiding cyclists unerringly to their destination just like on the Tube. Wherever you were in London, you’d be within minutes of a cycle network that could lead you wherever you wanted to go.

Decent cycle routes already exist in the capital, but there’s no consistency in their signage, and you need bunches of different maps to cover Greater London. In 1931, Harry Beck’s famous Tube map succeeded in taming a chaotic system of underground lines. Something similar is needed today for the capital’s cycle routes, and that’s just what inventor Simon Parker has created with his amazing design for a London Cycle Map.

London would be transformed by a London Cycle Map – into a greener, cleaner, quieter and friendlier city. To lend your voice to the chorus, please sign the petition .

Cycle Lifestyle is a free magazine that promotes cycling in the capital. It’s the first magazine in the UK to appeal to potential as well as regular cyclists. Visit www.cyclelifestyle.co.uk to get a copy or read one online.

Personalised Travel Plans for Business (myPTP)

PTP for business is a web based application that can provide solutions to the transport related problems caused from employees commuting to work.

Businesses are finding themselves under increasing pressure to reduce their negative impact on the environment, tackle the congestion their sites cause, and ultimately cut costs. However their employees remain uninformed of the travel options that exist in getting to work, and nor are they encouraged to change their behaviour.

The solution is to provide the business with the tools to inform their employees and begin to start changing their travel behaviours through highlighting the alternatives that exist to single occupancy car travel. Through the collaboration with established transport data providers PTP for business can integrate public transport data, real-time updates and the current liftshare membership, to really provide the information needed to change the way people travel to work.

Transportdirect makes an attempt to provide all of the information needed to change behaviours but has found itself being utilised for one-off journeys. Whereas the greatest impact can be made on a twice daily journey that takes place over 200 days of the year – the commute.

Furthermore the application will allow data to be collected upon the journeys being registered, which in the first instance means that further contact and follow up can be initiated to assess the level of behaviour change. Additionally this data can be used to inform transport operators of areas where bus services for instance should be ran, as both beginning and end of journey location are known.

In summary, PTP for business can help employees make smarter travel choices, benefiting individuals through reduced costs, less carbon intensive or possibly healthier travel. For business it begins to become a valuable item in the work place travel plan and begins to solve the numerous transport related problems encountered by businesses. PTP for business – improving transport for Britain as a whole.

Abby Couriers

Abby Couriers are a local courier SME with big ideas.  Working with partners from across the Essex region as part of the Supply Chain Innovation and Excellence partnership, we have already succeeded in gaining funding to develop an online system to allow customers to refine the time, date and delivery location of their parcels (for more details click here).  It was only when the GeoVation Challenge came along that we realised that we could take it even further.

Over 30% of home deliveries are not delivered first time leading to additional road or other transport journeys by customers to retrieve their parcels.  Not only is this frustrating for customers, but it also means wasted journeys, fuel and money for our business, and unnecessary carbon emissions for the planet (especially as customers then have to make another journey to pick up their parcel).

Our initial project focuses on allowing customers to more precisely define when and where they want their parcels delivered.  However, the GeoVation challenge allowed us to think about the next stage of the project’s development.  We wanted to use geographical information and mapping technologies to allow customers to follow their parcel in real time, so that they know even more accurately when their parcel will be delivered.

As well as giving the customer more detailed information about their deliveries, it will also allow us as a business to further optimise our routing selection, as we would also like to develop the GIS component to integrate with the traffic information from our local transport authority.  In this way customers could be assured that their parcel was still arriving on time, despite any traffic problems they may have heard on their local radio.