How data could improve rail and road infrastructure – Transport Committee investigates
The Transport Committee will investigate how more sophisticated use of data could improve the delivery of infrastructure and improve resilience of rail lines and roads.
Examples of this include quicker responses to maintenance problems where technology can be used to monitor the condition of rail and road assets, including viaducts, bridges and tunnels. Addressing faults at an earlier stage can then save money in the long run.
Elsewhere, the Government has been helping to develop digital twins – a way of modelling the country’s transport networks and how they are used to plot virtual scenarios for when networks experience disruption, allowing contingency plans to be developed.
As well as exploring innovations that could be coming down the track, MPs will question experts and representatives of National Highways, Network Rail and local government about the workforce skills that may be needed to harness the benefits of more detailed and timely information.
Witnesses may also be asked to comment on the Government’s 2023 Transport Data Strategy which set out its plans to overcome barriers to greater utilisation and sharing of data. There will also be questions about how the UK’s performance compares with other countries, and what lessons can be learnt from infrastructure and resilience planning abroad.
The cross-party Committee will be interested to hear ideas about how the public and private sectors could unlock funding for investment in new technologies to reap their benefits.
This inquiry, Future of transport data, was inspired by proposals made to the Committee during its Our Future Transport campaign last year. This saw experts and academics present ideas to MPs for possible inquiries. It builds on pitches from Milda Manomaityte of the Railway Industry Association – who is among the witnesses in this session – and Nick Bromley of data technology company Matatika.