£500k up for grabs in local transport data competition

20/12/2018
Dominic Browne

The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a £500,000 competition focused on opening up local authority parking and traffic management data.

Any English local highway authority can apply for funding and applications can cover areas that cut across local authority boundaries - in which case one authority should be identified as the lead authority with others as partner authorities.

There is a limit of two bids per local highway authority.

Where an authority forms part of a combined authority (CA), bids should be submitted by the CA. If a CA submits more than one bid it should provide a cover letter indicating the relative priority of the bids submitted.

These datasets were identified as 'high value' but not often accessible, by a local transport data discovery project undertaken earlier this year.

The competition will provide funding between £50,000 to £100,000 for its winners to process and publish these datasets in an open data format. Winning bids will best meet the following criteria:  

  • focus on the high value datasets identified by discover project including real-time traffic information and parking data
  • support the process of opening data for example, cataloguing data within their control, cleaning data to ensure quality, and standardising datasets
  • develop a collaborative approach to data handling for example, working across local authority boundaries; developing or exploiting existing data platforms.

Funding is only available for the process of opening and publishing data - and not the hardware to collect the data.

'Fundamentally, bidders should set out the value of the data, both in its present form and the benefits that they expect to gain operationally and/or from data exploitation from opening the data,' DfT officials said.

The competition is part of DfT attempts to evolve and improve transport services by opening up data and removing barriers to effective data.

The closing date for entrants is 8 February 2019.

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