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New website shows live data on travel times by bike and car in Oxford

Council hopes it will show how quick and easy it is to get about by bike

Oxfordshire County Council has launched an experimental website that tracks cars, bikes and people across Oxford in real-time. The hope is that will show how quick and easy it is to get around the city by cycling.

The data is being collected by Vivacity Labs via sensors installed at 60 locations. Artificial intelligence logs and classifies passing transport throughout the day.

The site features a map highlighting transport hotspots; a chart indicating estimated travel times for various modes of travel; a current breakdown of transport types; and historical patterns.

At the time of writing (lunchtime on Saturday) it was showing similar travel times for cycling and driving along four ‘key commuter corridors’.

Screenshot_2020-07-25 Oxbike co uk

One imagines this will skew in favour of cycling during rush hour periods.

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for environment, told The Herald: "Oxbike is a welcome contribution to our travel and transport work as a county and will enable the council and partners to understand the journey data much better.

"This will play a particularly important role as the council looks to expand and develop an upgraded cycling infrastructure amid the recovery from the pandemic and as we look to implement ways to cut emissions and wider transport plans including bus gates for Oxford."

Llewelyn Morgan, head of the innovation hub at the council, added: "There has been a lot of expectation of the benefit of connected vehicles, which are now becoming prevalent on our roads.

"Oxfordshire is committed to be at the forefront of this through enabling applications that benefit our communities.

"This project will develop an important application by connecting data with smart infrastructure to help improve our knowledge of road use and safety on the road for all users."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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pdw | 3 years ago

Travel times along such short distances don't really make much sense without some measure of what you do at the other end. i.e. can you park anywhere near where you want to be? And whilst you might be a few minutes quicker in a car down Iffley Road, if you're trying to get to Carfax you're going to lose quite a lot of time on the next bit because High Street is closed to cars.

wtjs | 3 years ago

This is impressive because the site is using actual believable unbiased data, rather than propaganda. I have a lot of experience of cycling in Oxford, although it's very dated now! I was never hit like I have been in Lancashire, even though close passing had never been heard of in those days- presumably car speeds were much lower because of the congestion, and drivers were used to hordes of inept cyclists on rubbish bikes. I did crack a collar bone, but that was my fault from crashing into the back of a car due to rubbish brakes in the rain. It's only in the last year that I have experienced the joy of cable disks in the rain- wonderful!

eminusx | 3 years ago

this feels like such a missed opportunity, surely it would be beneficial to provide empirical data for typical scenarios that negatively affect the other modes of transport.....traffic jams and late buses are two of the key reasons many people turn to bikes in the first place, if youre gonna convince more to saddle up its this kind of data that will do it...not saying 'look, they take about the same time', where is the incentive!!!

mdavidford | 3 years ago

I hope it's rather more reliable than the live times to arrival currently displayed at bus stops, which seems to be more or less made up at random, and fairly often for buses that turn out not to actually exist.

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