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Smarter journeys thanks to councilsí new website

15/01/13

Live updates about traffic disruption across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are now freely available, thanks to a joint project by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils.

Smart Journey is an interactive and immediate way for the travelling public to receive live traffic information through their smartphone or computer.

Details of roadworks, gritting operations, delays and incidents can be posted on Smart Journey by official sources, including both councils and Grampian Police.

What makes the site unique and so responsive is that members of the public can also sign in and post information to the website to report trouble spots as soon as they occur.

Details of traffic hotspots, congestion or other road conditions are plotted onto an easy-to-read map, giving a much more immediate opportunity to avoid any problems. Registered users of Smart Journey can select their regular routes and journeys to receive email alerts at the first sign of any disruption. The aim of the project is to help people travelling in the North-east make better informed decisions about their journeys.

Smart Journey, one of four Scottish projects wholly-funded by NESTA under the Make It Local campaign, has been developed through a partnership of Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Swirrl IT, and Lighthouse design agency.
Aberdeen City Council leader and convener of the Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Barney Crockett said: "I'm absolutely delighted with this innovative approach to helping and assisting the travelling public across the North-east. Smart Journey is particularly relevant during the winter months and if we can make journeys safer and smoother then this can only be a good thing."

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council's Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle said: "Smart Journey is a fantastic initiative which will provide motorists with up-to-date travel information and allow them to plan their journeys effectively. Travel updates are already available but allowing road users to input their own information is a great way to help in making journeys safer for everybody."

Jackie McKenzie, Head of Innovation Programmes Scotland for Nesta said: "We all know that when cold weather strikes, councils are under enormous pressure to keep cities moving, helping people get to work and reaching the most vulnerable in society.

"The fantastic work being done by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils shows how open data can be used to develop new services for citizens and, by encouraging them to provide additional information, to make that service even better. Local authorities have shown the amazing results that can be achieved through the excellent partnership they have developed with digital companies.

"Nesta hopes that other councils across Scotland and beyond will take advantage of the fact that all of the information and code for these projects is Open Source and develop their own services for future years."

The full system will be released as Open Source, allowing the innovation to be shared and further developed.

Smart Journey is the latest Open Data project from Aberdeen City Council, which was the first in Scotland to make non-personal data from council systems available to external developers for re-use and integration into other systems.

Aberdeen-based developer Kevin Mitchell, who developed the smart phone app Furryboots, has already integrated the data from SmartJourney into his application, ensuring journey disruption information is even more widely distributed.

To use Smart Journey visit www.smartjourney.co.uk