Covid-19: UK local authorities deliver high level of traffic data to help Department for Transport understand lockdown


The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) says it’s received an overwhelming reaction to its call for local authorities to share data during the coronavirus crisis.

After ITS (UK) led the appeal for members to share travel and parking data to help understand patterns during the lockdown, authorities and companies who work with them reacted within 24 hours with enough information to fulfil the DfT’s requirements.

Andy Graham of White Willow Consulting co-ordinated the effort for the DfT. He said, “Before I could finish reading an email, another three came in. I am so grateful to all who helped deliver what we needed, now we can work on getting a true understanding of new travel patterns in the country.”

Professor Phil Blythe, chief scientist, Department for Transport

The DfT’s chief scientist Professor Phil Blythe added, “ITS (UK)’s assistance was much appreciated. Their publicity helped us to quickly start working with a number of organisations and individuals who came forward to assist us. The industry really did step up to the mark.”

“This is yet another way that a membership body like ITS (UK) delivers for its members,” concluded Jennie Martin, secretary general of ITS (UK). “Having a range of organisations as members, from the DfT through local authorities, consultants and suppliers, to micro-SMEs like White Willow, means we can mobilise the right support at the right time, whatever the requirement. I am proud that in these toughest of days, ITS (UK) was called upon, and ITS (UK) delivered.”

With the Transport Technology Forum, the DfT is now busily analysing the data and supplying results to the scientists managing the Covid-19 response and says that while no more new data is currently required, they ask those supplying please continue your great work.

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).