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Travel app paving the way for greener transport modes

By Ben Comber

MotionMap travel app on a smartphone
MotionMap travel app on a smartphone

A travel app launched this week to allow people to get around the city faster and easier – and see what impact their journey has on the environment.

Smart Cambridge, funded by the Greater Cambridge Partnership, has launched MotionMap, which uses real-time data from all over the city.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, interim chair of the GCP, said the app would help reduce congestion.

He said: “The new app and screens at the station and other city locations will be further developed and the data expanded, but we want these tools in use now – so residents, commuters and visitors can test them out and tell us how they can be made even better.

“Cambridge recently won the accolade of being one of Britain’s top 10 smart cities, and this is yet another Smart Cambridge project contributing to keep us at the top, by using data and emerging technology to help people and the city tackle our massive congestion challenge and cut vehicle pollution.”

MotionMap is free to download and provides information about travel by bus, train, cycle or on foot.

It was developed with Cambridge-based company Building Intellect. It uses data collated through the Intelligent City Platform (iCP) and LoRa network, developed by the University of Cambridge, together with other data sources such as Google Transit, Twitter feeds and weather reports.

There are also “smart screens” being unveiled today at Cambridge Station which provide “much-needed signposting, travel times and useful information”.

Paul Wilkinson, Greater Anglia’s integrated transport manager, said: “We’re keen to help our customers with their journeys to and from stations whether it be by bus, bike, car or on foot.

“We very much welcome this new facility at Cambridge station, which is the busiest on our network. Thousands of people arrive at Cambridge every day by train, and this will definitely make their lives a little easier.”

More of the screens are planned for Trumpington Park & Ride this summer.

Smart Panel lobby screens are also available to provide travel information to staff. AstraZeneca’s Academy House is one such location.

Dr Andy Williams, vice president Cambridge strategy & operations, AstraZeneca, said: “Smart cities are developing fast across the globe. Cambridge’s adoption of digital journey planning tools is an important step for the city.

“We know it is hard to break travel habits. Access to precise and up-to-the-minute information will help drive behaviour change for residents and commuters.

“For AstraZeneca, headquartered in Cambridge since 2016 and with a community of over 2,500 staff based here, this development supports our travel plans for staff, which are underpinned by encouraging sustainable choices.

“By piloting Smart Panel lobby screens at some of our sites, we are delighted to be early adopters of this technology.”

Enter MotionMap in the app stores to download it for free, click on Cambridge and get started.


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