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Welcome to the first BBC local transport hack day, 28 June, BBC Mailbox, Birmingham


To give the regional journalists on secondment with the BBC Shared Data Unit the opportunity to learn about the data sources and challenges that might inspire story ideas in local transport

To enable transport specialists to learn about transport data platforms and data sources, and understand the purpose and capabilities of the BBC Shared Data Unit

This is an opportunity for journalists and transport experts to understand more about each others world's in the context of local transport data, and to explore how each could support and assist the other to deepen understanding and widen diversity of engagement in local transport.

Attendees include:

  • seconded regional journalists
  • BBC Shared Data Unit staff
  • BBC Visual Journalism team
  • transport data platform providers and technical support
  • transport planners and modellers
  • public authority transport staff
  • transport policy and data experts

Big picture challenges to tackle

Policy: better data and modelling tools to more accurately and sensitively choose locations for housing/development/transport hubs, wider access to modelling tools and decision-making, and use of more relevant/historic data in modelling scenarios and reviewing real-life compared to predicted.

Operational: reducing congestion by sharing data and coordinating construction/disruption/road maintenance projects to minimise impact. For journalists, holding large organisations (HS2, Highways England, Network Rail etc) to account for not doing all they can in this.

Changing how people see and use transport: the choices and information available on different ways to travel, incentivised use of public transport to reduce car use, understanding the different modes of transport people choose, and the shift in this over time.

Replumbing local transport data flows to improve quality of life: information about traffic conditions and public transport services is typically provided by transport/communcations teams in local authorities, and operators. By making the right data available in accessible ways, others can provide targeted, holistic transport choices relevant to their audience, with accurate journey times, costs and live disruption/delays, alongside local amenities, places to go whilst you are delayed, and car parking and hotel for your journey.

Existing operational transport data in 153+ silos needs to be found, checked for accuracy, co-ordinated, repackaged and made accessible to new audiences. This is a huge undertaking, and we meed a diverse, supportive community with transport, data, behavioural, communications, public services and business expertise to deliver this.


Introductory presentations

Peter Sherlock - the BBC Shared Data Unit:

Teresa Jolley, DEFT153 Ltd, with Pupul Chatterjee (DEFT153) and Nic Cary (Waysphere) - transport data challenges:

Dan Pass - public authorities perspective:



Data platforms:

Data sources:


Transport challenges:

Technical support for data platforms

  • Transport for West Midlands API
  • oneTransport
  • OpenDataSoft
  • Road Safety Analysis and Crash Map
  • Birmingham in Real Time
  • Birmingham Bus Journey Times

Further Reading

How data journalism can revolutionse local transport: a West Midlands case study:

Platforms to help manage the transport data explosion:

Related events

9 July 2018, AR+VR // How can it impact your business?, Birmingham City University:

11 and 12 July 2018, Digital Transport Exchange, iCentrum, Birmingham: 11th: 1-5pm: workshop
12th: 9-5pm: conference

17 July 2018: Public consultation on Bus Open Data, iCentrum, Birmingham: