Last update: 11 June 2013
Note for reader:
The Regional and Local Transport (RLT) programme no longer exists. The Department has been restructured with effect from 2011 (the new organogram can be found at this website address: www.dft.gov.uk/about/dftorganisationchart). This means that the sub-programmes and projects in RTL will need to be reassigned and other updates completed. Some of the programmes will themselves need to be rescoped. This is underway and will be completed in due course. However, most of the sub programmes and projects will be reassigned to the new Local Directorate, and it is possible to view the project details via these link: www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/policy and www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses
(F) Smart Cards and Ticketing [Theme 6]
Research in this area has built on previous work on development of the ITSO specification for an interoperable ticketing interface. The specification covers all aspects of the ticketing life cycle, including the back office functions. It will enable the customer to use one smart card (or other smart media) to travel across any ITSO scheme. The specification is Crown Copyright and available free of charge. This research programme has looked at the potential of smart cards and other smart media such as mobile phones for ticketing to enable seamless travel across transport modes. We have considered the opportunities and limitations offered by new technologies and emerging solutions and managed three desk research studies looking at Existing Smart Cards schemes (wider than just transport), e-Money in Public Transport and the potential for Be-in Be-out payment systems (where a passenger's presence is automatically detected). Current research is also looking at wider ITSO implementation issues. The potential use of so-called "Low Cost" smart cards is being investigated in the Cheshire smart card scheme and the potential for multi-modal citizen services smart cards is being investigated in the wider Yorcard scheme. New research which began at the start of 2008 is investigating the applicability and commercial benefits of Near Field Communications for smart ticketing on mobile phones.
This work follows up CfIT's recommendations on Bus Subsidy; monitors the Rural Transport Grants and regulatory changes in the Transport Act 2000. It includes taxi and private-hire vehicle research for monitoring licencing issues.
'Transport 2010: The 10 Year Plan' noted that "the condition of our roads is a matter of concern not just for motorists, but also for cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers" (para 6.42). Road condition has a direct effect on the Department for Transport's ability (and that of the devolved administrations) to deliver policy objectives of tackling congestion; reducing casualties; respecting the environment; and supporting the economy. The Plan set the objective of eliminating the local road, bridge and lighting maintenance backlog in England by the end of the Plan period. The research programme exists to support the Department for Transport (DfT), the Highways Agency (HA), and local highway authorities in delivering that objective (with a similar approach by the devolved administrations). Research to support the policy objective of eliminating the maintenance backlog by March 2011 will focus on ensuring that the maintenance programme offers best value; determining best practice in, and possible efficiency gains from, up-to-date maintenance planning and procurement techniques; determining optimum maintenance regimes that allow highway authorities to maintain roads on a basis which minimises costs over time and the disruption caused; developing understanding of highway engineering techniques; and determining public attitudes to road condition. The majority of research projects provide the fundamental information upon which policy will be formulated. Projects may also provide updates on previous understanding (possibly in the light of research elsewhere), be used to advance areas already under consideration but for which policy is not yet fully defined, or areas where standards exist but for which a new approach could yield benefits.
This area considers travel behaviour and attitudes to transport choices, including social surveys. It also covers modelling, data, and appraisal to link knowledge of travel behaviour and attitudes with expected outcomes of different policy interventions, eg consideration of modal choice in local transport, and the means of influencing use of "slow modes" such as walking and cycling to reduce reliance on the private car.