In response to the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF), OS Partner, Road Safety Analysis and the Agilysis team used OS MasterMap Highways combined with their own data, to create a tool enabling local authorities to assess their active travel network.
The EATF is providing a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, by supporting temporary and permanent projects, aimed at making walking and cycling safer with improved infrastructure across the country.
The challenge faced by local authorities is to understand the most suitable locations and safety solutions for those areas.
But local authorities often lack key information, like the extent of speed limits on their network, especially in a GIS layer. Typically, local authorities gain information about their network through traffic surveys and may have permanent counters in place. Yet, these methods are often slow and limited to a small number of roads.
Having access to consistent and reliable local data is essential for local authorities to plan safety updates to quiet roads as well as busy travel corridors.
Agilysis prioritised the development of the Active Streets Assessment Tool (ASAT), which became available to local authorities in July 2020. The ASAT combines multiple streams of data including OS MasterMap Highways, to create an easy to use graphical display.
The ASAT means local authorities are able to access a bespoke local portal for a low annual cost, and can now make informed decisions on improving safety for walking and cycling routes.
"2020 has been a year of challenges for all of us with those responsible for safe travel facing a sudden change in road use by the public. The low-traffic levels of lockdown have quickly disappeared but there is still a desire for people to walk and cycle more. Our response in creating the Active Streets Assessment Tool has allowed transport authorities the opportunity to quickly assess roads in their area and make important decisions on which areas are suitable for more cycling and walking."Richard Owen, CEO, Agilysis
The benefits of using ASAT are the speed at which analysis can take place. Local authorities also have access to information they wouldn’t have been able to collect otherwise, such as data on speed limits.
Other data available within the tool include road width, congestion, and important places like schools, users can simply download the data when they’re done. Having access to multiple filters all in one place speeds up the assessment of suitability for walking and cycling routes, and possible safety improvements on an active travel network.
OS MasterMap Highways Network - Roads
OS MasterMap® Highways Network is the most complete, detailed and accurate routable road network dataset for Great Britain. It records the dimensions and accessibility of roads.