Urban Transport Group press release on DfT plans on bus open data and audio visual


Urban Transport Group concerned over funding & quality controls for Government’s bus open data & audio visual information plans

  • For immediate release: Wednesday 19 September 2018

  • For further information contact: James Kershaw, Media and Communications Manager, james.kershaw@urbantransportgroup.org / 0113 251 7424 / 07 496 596 496

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The Urban Transport Group has today welcomed the Government’s intention to open up data on bus services and to ensure the provision of audio visual information for bus passengers - but said it has major concerns about how the plan is to be funded and implemented at a time when local government funding is being cut.

The proposals - which are set out in two consultations on bus open data and accessible information – are designed to ensure that bus users in England have better times, fares and real-time information for their journeys, and that buses have audio visual announcements to improve the travel experience for visually impaired passengers, the deaf or hard of hearing, those with cognitive impairments, autism, or mental illnesses.

In its response to the consultations, the Urban Transport Group called for a ring-fenced funding from Government to support both open data and the implementation of audio visual equipment. The response points out that since 2010-11, there has been a 46% reduction in funding for supported bus services in England, and the requirement to install audio visual announcement systems (which can cost up to £4,000 per bus including audio recordings) could put additional pressure on budgets for supported services.

The Urban Transport Group also called for:

  • minimum quality standards for data to ensure that data, which passengers will rely on, is robust, reliable and consistent

  • strict and enforced code of practice for developers’ use of bus open data to ensure that the uses made of it are fair, accurate and do not mislead