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Birmingham Highways Data Challenge Highlights

Inspired by the need to provide better transport choices around Birmingham during the construction of HS2, this two-day event on 25 and 26 November 2016 at the Innovation Birmingham campus brought together key organisations, datasets and capabilities to create prototype solutions.


  1. Compered by Nic Cary, Head of Digital Transformation and Open Data, Department for Transport, the two-day event provided a regional context for the challenges, and access to datasets and staff from: Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Combined Authority, West Midlands Fire Service, Highways England, HS2, Department for Transport, (Elgin), TransportAPI, GEOmii, Amey, Mott Macdonald, and Open Street Map.
  2. Kicking off the event, Nic Cary welcomed all and set out plans for the morning plenary to set the regional context and introduce the challenges and datasets, followed by workshop/hack to explore challenges and develop solutions for judging on the Saturday afternoon.
  3. Katherine Attwood, Government Digital Services (GDS) Digital and Tech fast streamer in DfT, sets out what to expect from a 'hack' (it's not as nefarious as it sounds....!), and how to make the most of the experience......
  4. The Challenges

  5. Andy Radford from Birmingham City Council explained the priorities of road safety, congestion, air quality and global warming, and the challenges faced in accessing, presenting and using data to measure and monitor progress in these areas
  6. Stu Lester from West Midlands Combined Authority and James Findlay, CIO at HS2 embraced the collaborative spirit of the event by delivering a shared presentation on the key challenges facing their respective organisations around the HS2 construction.
  7. James Findlay confirms HS2 is a member of the Open Data Institute, and publishes open data on
  8. Just before lunch, the data providers introduced the datasets they'd made available for the hack.....