Funding boost for weather project

A JOINT venture involving local authorites and technology companies to deliver accurate weather travel information has been given a funding boost.

The initiative has secured backing 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. The idea 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 will be fed back into the councils’ internal systems. Both the road and footpath network will be covered.

Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council are responsible for more than 4000 miles of roads covering urban, rural, coastal and mountain networks. By partnering with digital media developers who understand how to create the most user friendly systems, the project hopes to reach as many people as possible. The information will be available online and via mobile phone.

As the project develops, people will be encouraged to contribute live updates via a dedicated website and twitter which will ensure that the system is as up to date as possible and provide the kind of timely detailed local information that is impossible to achieve through a central service alone.

It may also be possible later to add live public transport information to the service.

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.”