Providing accurate, up-to-date data and tools to the public to enable them to make instant journey decisions will help encourage more active travel use, according to Scott Cain, owner of runfriendly.com and consultant to the Connected Places Catapult, speaking on this week’s Highways Voices podcast.
He said by optimising journeys for the public alongside providing with them with the other necessary information for for their trips when they need it was ‘very important’ if local authorities and road operators want to encourage the public to me more active and make use of the recent investments in cycling and walking infrastructure.
“People want choice and they want all the information they can possibly get to help optimise their journeys. Then there is the practical stuff they need such as where they can park their bikes at the other end or where they can charge their electric bike near their destination-all of that is a really important part of the active travel offer. So making that information to people who are deciding to make active trips at the point they really need it, is really, really important.”
He cited work done by the Connected Places Catapult on combination travel-a body of work that is looking at how people can travel seamlessly across different modes of transport, as an important example of work that was needed now and in the future,
Also speaking on Highways Voices, Karla Jakeman, Innovation Lead – Connected Transport for Innovate UK said successful active travel is all about providing ‘choice’. “I think when it comes to choice, we need to have that information, we need to feel safe, we need to know that we can put our bike on the bus or on the train, we need to know what the routes are. If I get off the bus at this stop? Is it easier for me to walk or cycle the rest of the way?
“All of that kind of information helps us to make those informed choices. And certainly with some of the competitions we’ve been doing such as the Geospatial Commission competition, which we ran on their behalf, we have seen that starting to happen more. We’ve got five projects from that around active travel, and they’re very much around using satellite technologies to create better information to create a safer environment, as well as things like asset management for cycle ways and pathways and things like that. But ultimately, it’s really about giving people that element of choice,” she added.