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2004-12-31 DfT-001
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Transport direct to your destination - new journey planner


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Department for Transport



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Department for Transport

Transport direct to your destination - new journey planner
_______________________________________________________________


date
31 Dec 2004 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release



Transport Direct, the travel information and journey planning service for Great Britain, was officially launched today. Now online at www.transportdirect.info, Transport Direct is a world first in delivering comprehensive travel information for both public and private forms of transport, offering people choice and enabling them to make better informed decisions when planning journeys within Great Britain.

The award winning service works by joining up existing sources of travel information, offering multi-modal door-to-door journey planning as well as more traditional planning for either car, air, coach or train. Transport Direct's journey plans take the form of step-by-step instructions supported by detailed maps that can be viewed at a range of scales.

Transport Direct also contains 'live travel' information, including real-time information on the running of services to and from Britain's 2500 railway stations. Travellers can check as to the likelihood of delays on road and rail routes and see whether choosing a different route, departure time or transport mode might suit them better.

Links to rail and coach ticket retailers mean that public transport users can buy their tickets without having to re-enter their journey details. Road users benefit from journey plans that uniquely take into account historical traffic levels which vary according to the day and time, for much of the trunk road network.

Commenting on today's launch, Secretary of State for Transport Alistair Darling said:

"For the first time, travellers will be able to see the different travel choices available in one place. Transport Direct will offer people greater choice, putting all the travel information they need at their fingertips.

"Today's launch represents a real achievement and is an excellent example of the transport industry working together to deliver something of real value to people.

"Of course there will be teething problems but increasingly Transport Direct will bring huge benefits to the travelling public."

Notes to Editors

1. Who set up Transport Direct?
* Conceived by the Department for Transport with additional funding and input from the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Executive
* Designed, built and operated by a consortium, led by Atos Origin, comprising WS Atkins, ESRI, Microsoft, BBC Technology, RTEL * An advisory board, made up of key transport industry players, oversees the direction and delivery of the Transport Direct programme * A sounding board, comprising senior transport and travel stakeholders, provides operational advice and support
* Data, technology, expertise and other essential contributions from transport service operators; all 141 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales; traveline; Ordnance Survey; thetrainline; ATOC; Highways Agency; Traffic Wales; NADICS and many more

2. What makes Transport Direct different to other travel information services?
* The ability to compare car journeys with available public transport options
* Transport Direct points the way forward in joining up disparate sources of travel information, rather than simply adding to what is already available.
* Transport Direct's road journey plans take into account predicted traffic levels for key roads and, where severe, advise alternative routes.
* Users can buy rail and coach tickets on partners' web sites without re-entering journey details

3. What are Transport Direct's objectives?
* To provide comprehensive, accessible travel information for Great Britain
* To assist the travelling public in making informed choices across all modes of transport
* To encourage better use of the British transport infrastructure * To spread demand for the transport system away from peak times, and when transport services are disrupted
* To develop internationally recognised technical standards in the creation and formatting of transport information

4. How much has Transport Direct cost?
Spend to date is 16.7m (comprising 14.6m capital and 2.1m non-capital).

5. Facts and stats
Transport Direct features:
* Over 27 million addresses
* Over 330,000 bus stops
* Over 3 million road intersections
* 300 gigabytes of map data
* Links to railway station departure boards and information pages and bus real-time information sites
* The ability to set travel preferences (e.g. specifying how fast you are prepared to walk between interchanges) and save favourite journeys
* Interaction with up to 13 external web sites for each enquiry

6. www.transportdirect.info conforms to Level A of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Guidelines

7. Transport Direct won Computing magazine's Public Sector Project of the Year 2004 award.

8. Future Plans for Transport Direct
* Consolidation of existing service and functions
* Delivery through further channels (internet-enabled mobile phone, PDA, street kiosk and as a service embedded in other web sites) * Comparative cost details for different journey options * Development of other data sets (e.g. - cycle routes, car parks)

9. Transport Direct Personnel
Chairman (non-executive): Sir Malcolm Field
Chief Executive: Nick Illsley

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
DfT web site: http://www.dft.gov.uk



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