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Travel Information

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made towards delivering integrated travel information. [115094]

Transport Direct was announced in "Transport 2010—The 10 Year Plan" in July 2000. Transport Direct will provide integrated travel information to help people to plan their journeys and to compare routes and prices across different types of transport. The ultimate vision for Transport Direct is to cover all types of transport within the UK, including rail, bus, car, ferries, air, trams, and taxis. Transport Direct will do three things:

Tell the traveller what choices they have when planning the journey
Allow the traveller to book and pay for their journey at the time of making their inquiry
Advise the traveller about how their chosen travel option is performing in real-time before they set off.
Initially it will be available over the internet through our Transport Direct Web Portal. Later on we hope to extend the service to mobile phones, hand held devices, high street kiosks and interactive TV.

We expect the first release of the Transport Direct portal to be available by the end of 2003, and will include:

multi-modal travel information on the internet, covering road journeys as well as all public transport modes at a single point of contact
real-time (that is, actual rather than recorded or timetabled) train operating information
some booking of long-distance multi-modal journeys on the internet
development of Internet-based maps, which will allow travellers to examine public transport options both for visiting a specific venue and for general travel around an area they are considering visiting.

The initial portal service will be enhanced in subsequent years.