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Gloucestershire Business News

Forest of Dean infrastructure project receives kick-start funding

The Geospatial Commission in partnership with Innovate UK are funding 28 winners of their £2 million transport location data competition, which includes the Forest of Dean.

The competition, which looks at how location data can spark innovation and support the future of mobility for the United Kingdom, has awarded funding of up to £75k across four themes of mobility as a service, active travel, supply chains and capacity.

With the support of the Forest of Dean District Council, the Forest Economic Partnership and Rural Technologies Ltd have been successful in securing a £69,393 award for the theme of 'mobility as a service.'

Together they hope to develop better integration of different transport types, first within the Forest of Dean District, then nationwide.

Their bid details a plan that aims to develop a system that connects all available transport types into one easily accessible resource. The first step in doing so is to understand how residents and businesses currently use transport.

As part of the first stage of their research, the organisations are asking both residents and businesses to take part in a series of transport surveys.

Andrew Callard, director for Rural Technologies Ltd said: "Rural Technologies was specifically set up to develop innovative solutions to rural problems by harnessing technology. We're delighted to be working on this Geospatial Commission project with FEP, FoDDC and local businesses.

"A big response from the research phase of inhabitant and business surveys is essential to make the case to national government for a solution to be trialled first in the District in late 2021 for the rest of the country to follow."

Cllr Tim Gwilliam, in his letter of support said: "The Forest of Dean District Council looks forward in the feasibility stage to supporting the development of a solution that could assist the council in its drive towards Net Zero by 2030. Its aim as explained to me is to enable publicly accessible transport operators to more sustainably carry people on their daily journeys."

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