Smart Transport

‘Open up data to bolster future innovation’, says DIT

Dr Mike Short, Department for International Trade (DIT) chief scientific advisor, said the UK needs to get better at collecting and opening access to transport data in order to boost innovation.

Dr Short spoke to delegates at the recent Virtual Smart Transport Conference and said that without sufficient access to transport data, cities of the future simply cannot be smart.

He said: “We see that innovation and management of our transport systems will depend ever more on the availability of data.

“This needs to be opened up to make sure innovation can flow.”

Dr Short said data will go beyond understanding ticketing habits on public transport, but can open up infrastructure planning, maintenance, mapping, navigation, congestion reduction, air quality tracking and the facilitation of electric vehicle usage.

He said: “From what we can see in Europe, there are already lots of initiatives on research and development for 5G corridors and highways.
“That increased connectivity speed will be an enabler to generate more transport data.

“Making your vehicles and infrastructure more connected might be obvious for transport planners, but as information starts flowing in, we need to make sure there is a way to open it up and properly analyse it.”

As vehicles become more connected, Dr Short said he would like to see all connected vehicles with sensors being able to share aggregated and anonymised data to road managers and transport planners to help monitor road maintenance, plan routes and even weather conditions.

Dr Short praised the example of London’s Datastore which is a free and open data-sharing portal where anyone can access data relating to the capital.

This means that whether you're a citizen, business owner, researcher or developer, the site provides over 700 datasets to help understand the city and develop solutions to London's problems.

Dr Short added: “There is a need for smart city and smart transport data stores. London has shown with its data store that it can help with innovation immensely.

“Because of the city data store, we have seen innovation around city mapping and navigation.

“A lot more of this would occur across the UK if there were more city data stores.

“Let’s please make sure that smart transport is enabled by a much richer data ecosystem that will bring about a lot more innovation and capability for our industry.”

All of the video presentations and live Q&A sessions from the free Virtual Smart Transport Conference is now available for a limited time period at

Smart Transport would like to thank its Headline Strategic Partners for their support with this virtual event including ABB, AECOM, Centrica, DAF Trucks, Enterprise, FedEx, Geotab, LeasePlan, Liberty Global, Macquarie, PJA, Raleigh, Renault and Worldline.

The full line-up of Virtual Smart Transport Conference speakers included:

Andy Burnham - Mayor, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Anthony Smith - Chief Executive, Transport Focus

Beate Kubitz - Director of Policy and Communications, Future Mobility Research

Ben Lawson - VP Strategy Europe, Enterprise Holdings

Bob Moran - Deputy Director Head of Environmental Strategy, DfT

Bridget Rosewell CBE - Chair, M6 toll & DVSA

Carl Bayliss - VP Mobility & Home Energy, Centrica

Chris Morris - Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Sustainable Ventures

Chris Sibthorpe - Regional Director Manchester, PJA

Claire Haigh - CEO, Greener Journeys

Conor Chaplin - Innovation, Research & Insight Officer, TfGM

Daniel Ruiz - CEO, Zenzic

David Elvy - Head of Future Freight Strategy, DfT

David Savage - Regional Manager, Geotab

David Waterhouse - Head of Infrastructure, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Dominic Smith - Senior Transport Strategy Officer, Cycling & Walking, TfGM

Dr Lucy Mahoney - Network Manager, Walking and Cycling, C40

Ed Clarke - Managing Director UK & Nordics Road Network, FedEx Express

Ed Pegram - Business Manager Cycle To Work, Raleigh

George Lunt - Technical Director, AECOM

Gordon Young - Head of Vehicle Finance, Macquarie Bank

Prof Greg Marsden - Professor of Transport Governance, University of Leeds

Ian Forbes - Head of CCAV, DfT

Jason Simpson - Founder & Board Director, Liberty Charge

Karla Jakeman – Innovation Lead – Connected Transport, Innovate UK

Kim Sawyer - CEO, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

Laurence Drake - Managing Director, DAF

Lindsay Humblet - Partner, Planit-IE LLP

Liz Hunter - Head of Transport Policy, West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Mark Dickens - Director, Groupe Renault

Martin Howell - Director, Transport Markets, UK & Ireland, Worldline

Martin Tugwell - Programme Director, England’s Economic Heartland

Matthew Walters - Head of Consultancy and Customer Data Services, LeasePlan

Dr Mike Short CBE - Chief Scientific Advisor, Department for International Trade

Prof Nick Reed - Founder, Reed Mobility

Nicola Kane - Head of Strategic Planning, Insight & Innovation, TfGM

Oliver Johnson - UK Head of Sales, ABB

Polly Billington - Director, UK100

Rachel Maclean - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, DfT

Rafael Cuesta - Transport Consultant, RCC Ltd

Richard Dilks - Chief Executive, COMO UK

Sam Li - Senior Innovation Officer, TfGM

Sarah Kumeta - Senior Innovation Officer, TfGM

Shane Fitzpatrick - Director of Integrated Transport (Interim), Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Simon Warburton - Transport Strategy Director, TfGM

Stephen Bellamy - Interim Head of Commercial, Tyne & Wear

Stephen Briers - Editor-in-Chief, Bauer Media

Tracy Vickers – Head of Sustainable Transport, Essex County Council


Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.

Related content

Office Address
  • Smart Transport
    Media House
    Lynch Wood
    PE2 6EA
Join the community
  • Smart Transport is the UK's most important brand to bring together senior public policy makers and influential private sector leaders to showcase real-time solutions aligned to government policy.
  • Find out more
  • Insight


Welcome to Smart Transport

Welcome to the Smart Transport website, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, insight and reports from policymakers and thought leaders.

The Smart Transport brand connects policy to solutions by bringing national government and local authority policymakers together with private sector organisations.

Contact Lindsay Greatbatch for more information.

© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA - Registered number 01176085 IPSO regulated logo


Smart Transport members

Smart Transport board members


Please note:
By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer Consumer Media to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or
referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer Consumer Media. If Bauer Consumer Media receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person
featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer Consumer Media for any losses it has suffered as a result.