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28th Jun, 2022

Malvern-made app to improve rural transport shortlisted for chance to win £100k development fund

A MALVERN project is one of just three Midlands-based mobility solutions to have made it through to the next stage of a regional competition to improve transport in rural area.

The contest – run by regional transport body Midlands Connect – was launched in January, with businesses encouraged to submit initial ideas for how technology could be deployed to tackle rural transport issues and enhance local connectivity.

Entries were shortlisted with the three best sharing £40,000 (£13,333 each) to develop their ideas further, in partnership with a local authority.

The Malvern one is the ‘Integrated journeys app’ put forward by City Science.

This project, which will now be developed in partnership with Malvern District Council, is designed to integrate multiple travel apps.

It is hoped that move will provide a more seamless customer experience, making it easier for travellers to plan their journeys – especially those where more than one mode of transport will be used.

It would bring together local bus and train services, information on walking routes and cycle hire, to encourage public transport use and allow both residents and visitors to access the amenities and services they need to thrive.

Once the three schemes have been further developed with their local authority partners, the updated plans will be presented to Midlands Connect in June.

The best entry will be selected and announced at the Midlands Connect Rural Mobility conference on June 20.

The winner will receive up to £100,000 to support the detailed development of the solution to a point where it is ready to seek investment funding.

Simon Statham, Chief Technology Officer at Midlands Connect, said: “We know communities in rural areas can feel cut off and isolated due to patchy public transport, and this can impact their ability to access the services and amenities they need to succeed.

“This competition is aimed at removing some of these barriers, using technology and innovation to find new solutions to improve mobility in rural areas across our region.

“We received three really promising ideas and have now awarded funding to these successful organisations to develop their plans in with a local authority partner.

“We look forward to seeing these plans take shape and to eventually identifying the most viable solution, which we will announce in at our conference in June.”

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