We’re pleased to announce that our bid, for a comprehensive online campaigning toolkit to assist cycle campaign groups around the UK, is a winner in the GeoVation contest!

It brings £27,000 for the development of a toolkit which, in the words of one supporter, should be “a hugely important step forward for all cycle campaigning groups”.

Turning problem reports into implemented solutions

Our bid was one of 155 ideas submitted to the GeoVation challenge, on the theme of “How can we improve transport in Britain?”. Our bid was shortlisted, and we attended the GeoVation Camp in March to help develop the proposal amongst a total of 30 ideas invited. We were one of the final ten proposals, and took part in a Dragon’s Den -style pitch on Wednesday.

We were delighted to be picked as one of the winners who share the £150k pot of funding.


Photos by Ordnance Survey, licenced CC BY-NC 2.0

Martin Lucas-Smith, who presented the bid alongside CycleStreets’ routemaster, Simon Nuttall, said:

“We were delighted to be picked by the Ordnance Survey’s judges as one of the winners. The £27,000 of funding will enable us to get this much-needed project off the ground.

“As a member of one of the many local cycle campaign groups who will benefit, I’m all too aware of the large number of issues on the street network that need improvement, and the difficulty of managing this deluge of problems.

“The new system will help campaigners around the country convert these problem reports into prioritised, well-evidenced solution proposals. It should help them work more productively with local councils to see changes implemented.”

We’d like to thank all the groups who provided quotes of support for our bid, including the CTC, Cyclenation, London Cycling Campaign, and a variety of groups around the country. We’re working to provide you with a really great, useful and user-friendly system that will save a lot of time and effort.

Some of the things the new system will be able to do are:

  • Enable members of the public and campaigners easily to pinpoint where cycling is difficult
  • Help groups prioritise what to work on
  • Pull in planning application data automatically, so that potential issues needing attention are readily accessible
  • Automatically notify and involve people who cycle through an area – who therefore have an interest in seeing issues fixed
  • Make geographical data such as collision data and accessibility analysis easily available, to provide context
  • Enable simpler and more focussed discussion based on specific issues, groups of issues, or themes
  • Enable best practice to be ‘pulled-in’ to discussions, by providing off-the-shelf examples shared from elsewhere in the UK
  • Enable groups to include LA contacts in these discussions if they wish
  • Enable groups to assemble ‘solution’ resources so that problems can be resolved on the ground
  • Give groups a variety of ways of publishing their activity on their website easily.

GeoVation is run by the Ordnance Survey, and uses funding from the Technology Strategy Board and Ideas In Transit, and the Department for Transport. It runs challenges to address specific needs within communities, which may be satisfied in part through the use of geography.

We’ll have more details soon about the next steps. As the plans develop, we’ll be issuing calls for comments from groups in the cycling community, before we start with any coding.

We’re delighted also that MySociety’s strong bid for a mobile version of their forthcoming FixMyTransport was another winner – congratulations to them!

7 thoughts to “CycleStreets campaigner toolkit bid wins GeoVation contest!

  • Felix

    I'm an cycling campaigner from Leipzig, Germany. I understand what your aims are with this programm, but not how you will do it. Is it just a tool to collect the problems with cycling and getting the local autorities to know it, like this one http://meldungsportal.adfc-goettingen.de/ ?
    Or will their be more features, that i'm just not seeing now?
    I'm looking forward to see this in the future.
    Would it be possible to use it in Germany also?
    Best wishes with this. Felix

  • martin

    Hi Felix,

    No, it's intended to be rather more than a portal that just collects problems and sends them to the Local Authorities. Things like that already exist, such as http://www.cyclingsorted.org/ which we helped create, and http://www.fixmystreet.com/ . Rather, it is intended more to help the way that cycle campaign groups discuss, prioritise and argue for infrastructure improvements.

    Unfortunately, here in the UK, getting officlal bodies to improve conditions for cycling are much harder than in places like the Netherlands and Germany, where cycling culture is more embedded. However, there is much scope for improvement in the way that groups interact with Local Authorities, and the new system will, we hope, help them work together much more effectively.

    Have a look at these links, which explain the idea more:



    It will be designed for the way that UK groups work, but the code will be open-source, and it will be coded in such a way as to enable text to be translated into other languages easily, so people from Germany could potentially adapt the code and use it there.

  • Felix

    The Point is, we are thinking of building a portal like fixmystreet.com and now i'm wondering if it would make sense to wait for your project.  What do you think how much work it would be to localize it, that we could use it here in Leipzig? Is it just translation or do we need to change the source code?
    Best Regards Felix.

  • martin

    I'm sorry, but I'm afraid it's really too early to say, and our funder is paying for a UK-based system.

    We plan to write the system according to best practice coding standards, which will mean that all text strings will be stored in a single file that could then be easily translated into different languages.

    The plan is to have the project completed in about 5 months from now.

    You mention FixMyStreet (which is a different thing to what we plan to create) – this is appearing in other countries, so you could contact MySociety and see if it could be made available to you also. See: http://www.mysociety.org/2011/03/07/fixmystreet-in-norway/ . However, that system is about reporting maintenance problems, not discussing infrastructure improvements (which is what our system is about).

  • Felix

    Thanks for your answers. I'm coming back to you after you completed the project, and then we can see if we can localize it for Germany.

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