Technology and information

The use of technology for transport problems is evolving rapidly. Developments include connected and autonomous vehicles and the collection of vast and rich data sets about transport behaviour. It is challenging to know how to respond to this but the following key actions are proposed.

  • Ensuring that publicly generated transport data can be made available on a standard platform;
  • Enabling the expansion of electrical charging infrastructure
  • Working to enable multi-operator ticketing
  • Developing a clear policy approach to addressing the risk that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and other technologies could lead to increased vehicle numbers through promoting sharing trips.

Make the most of Open Data

Establish a programme to collect mobility data, for example: install cycle counters across the network, taking advantage of cycling infrastructure improvements to do this where possible.

Make data available, open and easily discoverable through a data portal.

Where possible, seek to make data available through APIs (application programming interface), to lower the barrier to access for service developers and innovators, as well as interested citizens. Follow the lead of leading public sector organisations such as Transport for London in terms of data formats, structure and discoverability.

Data will contain errors. Establish a process to respond to feedback from users of the data and correct any such errors that have been identified.

Ensure that procurement processes include a right to freely distribute data captured from procured systems including UTC and ITS systems.

Cheltenham Borough Council should be a consumer of our own data. As such, open data can form part of the approach to measuring outcomes.

Enabling the expansion of electrical charging infrastructure

Establish a study to identify a potential charging network to stimulate the move to EV (electric vehicles).

Work with the regional distribution network operator to ensure the supply-side infrastructure is in place to support the charging network, and that there is sufficient supply to meet demand.

Work with developers to help deliver parts of the charging network. Seek provision of charging facilities at key locations such as the major employment centres, and town centre car parks to help encourage the adoption of EVs.

Work to enable multi-operator ticketing

Smart and multi-operator ticketing can reduce barriers to travel for individuals, and allow for future innovation around ticketing (including enabling new services such as MaaS.)

Form a partnership with operators and the county council to deliver multi-operator ticketing, across smartcard, contactless and mobile device platforms.

Develop a clear policy approach to the risk of CAVs and other technologies increasing vehicle numbers

Although EVs can help to improve local air quality, they can still be used by a single occupier just like any car. It will be important to ensure that any support given to the shift to EVs does not undermine other approaches to encourage car sharing and a reduction in car use for short journeys.

The future of CAVs is yet to be defined. Some predictions envision both a future with increased car ownership (with access opened up to those without a driving licence), while others anticipate a future based around shared mobility, leading to a decline in private car ownership. The latter does not necessarily reduce single-occupancy car use.

A policy approach should be developed that prioritises the movement of people rather than vehicles, for example by encouraging shared modes). This approach should also ensure that transport supports the place vision for Cheltenham, rather than the place having to adapt to transport.

Smart Parking approaches promise to make parking easier and more efficient for its users. The policy should seek to make more efficient use of space through innovations such as smart parking to maintain or reduce current levels of parking provision. This will allow space to be released alternative uses, for example creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists, or for parklets and spill out spaces for local cafes, bars and restaurants.