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Transport and technology experts look to Government for ‘smart’ solutions to address transportation challenges

18 December 2013
Transport and technology experts have joined forces to ask Government to embrace more smart technology in its transport plans, delivering tangible benefits for all commuters.

Campaign for Better Transport, Cubic Transportation Systems, Telefónica and Thales have formed a Smarter Travel Forum to explore how the transport sector can work together to promote the use of emerging smart technology, such as real time information, smartcards and data collection.

The group will focus on how technology can deliver safe, sustainable and reliable transport solutions, supporting Government in the delivery of capacity enhancements on some of the country’s most congested sections of the rail and road networks. Technology has the potential to transform the transport sector by providing door-to-door solutions, making better use of the infrastructure we already have and ensuring any new infrastructure is part of a smart travel vision.  

The group is launching a Smarter Travel Manifesto at the London Transport Museum on Wednesday (18 Dec) attended by Baroness Susan Kramer, Minister of State for Transport, and Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. The Manifesto sets out the benefits of smart technology for passengers, policy-makers and operators.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive at Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Smarter travel has huge potential benefits for users, business and the economy. It can make cities work better, making them more attractive to investors and tourists and easier to navigate for residents. Investing in new transport infrastructure is important, but investment should be directed to making transport smarter and more intelligent, not just building more of it. Above all, governments need to embed smart travel into their transport strategies and evaluate investment in it against other transport projects.”

Billy D’Arcy, Managing Director Public Sector Business at Telefónica UK said: “Passenger transport companies have embraced some aspects of digital, but there is still a huge amount of scope to transform the services provided to passengers through technology. With many now wishing to use mobile apps and online sites to do everything from compare prices, plan routes in advance to checking for delays whilst travelling, it’s crucial the underpinning technology is able to support all elements of a passenger’s journey.

“As part of the Smarter Travel Forum, we are calling on the Government to consider the huge benefits of upgrading our transport infrastructure with smart technology, so the UK can be fit for the digital future.”

The Manifesto suggests a number of ways the Government can encourage and promote smarter travel:


  • Invest in smart technology like Network Rail's Traffic Management System, the Highways Agency National Traffic Information Service and  Network Rail’s Intelligent Infrastructure Management System
  • Use the regulatory systems it controls, such as the licensing of local bus services, the Highways Agency's performance specifications and rail franchises, and give incentives for adopting smart technology 



Notes to Editors

1. Read the Smarter Travel Manifesto here.

2. Forum members include Campaign for Better Transport, Cubic Transportation Systems, Telefonica and Thales Group.