Initiative to aid travellers

A joint initiative between Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council and two Scottish technology companies to deliver accurate winter travel information has secured funding from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

The pioneering project, called ‘Make it Local Scotland’, aims to help local authorities maximise use of the vast amounts of data they hold. It will allow travellers to access a website which will detail planned gritting routes, the location of grit bins and the status of current gritting operations. Using a unique referencing system, the exact location of reported travel problems or incidents will be pinpointed, and the information fed back into the councils’ internal systems.

Both local councils are responsible for more than 4,000 miles of roads covering urban, rural, coastal and mountain networks. By partnering with digital media developers who know how to create the most user-friendly systems, the project hopes to reach as many people as it can.

Aberdeenshire Council’s director of corporate services, Christine Gore, said: “I look forward to this project helping Aberdeenshire residents and businesses to plan their local travel using the latest information from different sources and being able to access it on a number of mobile devices.”

Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Roads maintenance – especially over the winter months – is a vitally important service delivered by Aberdeenshire Council, and sharing the latest information about our operations in this new way will also benefit the travelling public.”