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Northern transport plans include digital systems



Authority flags up need for fares database, messaging system, open data hub and online knowledge network

Plans are being laid for a number of digital systems to support the work of the new transport authority for the north of England.

They will include a fares database, disruption messaging system, open data hub and knowledge network, along with an effort support innovation in the field.

The plans have been signalled in a prior information notice on behalf of Transport for the North (TfN), the sub-national transport body that is on course to be granted statutory status as part of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse project.

It emphasises the importance of data in its plans, both in terms of keeping the public informed of fares and disruptions, and in supporting the development of apps by developers.

The fares data will take in information from transport operators and included a development tool for the data to be received in different formats.

Innovation and knowledge

Plans for the organisation’s digital activities also involve a series of innovation pilots through the implementation of a knowledge network, an online portal through which operations and local transport authorities in the region can share resources.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has alerted potential suppliers to the plan in anticipation of the establishment of TfN, which would take charge of the contract. Any agreements with WYCA would be transferred to TfN at it becomes a constituted body.

The whole package has been valued at £7.5 million, with the first of three tranches focused customer information.

The formation of TfN is part of a £70 billion plan to overhaul transport across the north of England. It includes the development of a Northern Powerhouse Rail network, and the Government has claimed it could help to create up to 850,000 jobs and boost the economy by £100 billion.

Image: Piccadilly Station, Manchester by Abhijit Tembhekar, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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