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DfT spends £196m with IBM

IBM took five per cent of the money spent by the Department for Transport with its 100 biggest suppliers in 2009-10. Figures released by the department in response to a Freedom of Information request from Kable show that the technology company came second on its supplier list after construction firm Balfour Beatty. Genesys …
Kable, 14 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

DfT to install new motorway tech

The Department for Transport (DfT) is to start work on 24 road and public transport schemes, several including managed motorway and hard shoulder running projects. Under its plans, the department is to improve access to Sheffield by using managed motorways technology on the M1 in Derbyshire between junctions 28 and 31. Active …
Kable, 28 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

DfT 'unwittingly' bigged-up speed camera benefits

The Department for Transport (DfT) has "unwittingly" misled the public over the benefits of speed cameras for the last four years. That was the shock admission yesterday by a DfT spokeswoman, when finally cornered by the Department’s own research. She also told us that they have finally agreed to put matters right by adding an …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 29 Jul 2010

CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

The government must take action to ensure that signs used to warn motorists that CCTV cameras are being used to monitor for parking offences are compliant with UK data protection laws, a watchdog has said. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that there are "deficiencies" in the information displayed to motorists on …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Feb 2014

Google Glassholes to be BANNED from UK roads

UK regulators are reportedly moving forward with a plan to ensure that Google Glass users don't wear their headsets while driving, well before the controversial eyewear even reaches Blighty's shores. The gadget magazine Stuff reports that the Chocolate Factory's high-tech specs have not gone unnoticed by the UK Department for …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

DfT shared service reverted to manual controls

The Department for Transport had to resort to manual processing to cope with problems at its shared services centre. The department's annual report for 2008-09 says that problems with financial control and management reporting functions were found during the first year that the shared service platform was introduced. A …
Kable, 20 Jul 2009
The Register breaking news

DfT denies deliberately misleading on speed cam stats

The Department for Transport last week denied deliberately misleading the public by exaggerating claims of the beneficial effects of speed cams. This follows an exclusive report in The Register, revealing that the DfT now accepts that its claim that speed cams on average lead to a reduction of 42 per cent in the Killed and …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 02 Aug 2010
Prison window

UK.gov back-office battle may see British Justice offshored

The Ministry of Justice is reviewing the current way back office functions are deployed, citing further cost savings as the reason for doing so – and not, as our sources state, because of departmental in-fighting. Under the Next Generation Shared Service Strategy (NGSSS) rolled out by the Cabinet Office last March, the plan was …
Paul Kunert, 03 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Toy train company bids for West Coast Mainline

We offer the Vulture Central tip of the hat today to toy train outfit Bigjigs for its audacious bid to run the UK's West Coast Mainline rail franchise. For those of you not up to speed on the West Coast Mainline fiasco, entertain yourselves with this blow-by-blow account down at the Beeb as to how the nation that invented the …
Lester Haines, 09 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

CONFIRMED: Driverless cars to hit actual British roads by end of year

Driverless cars will hit the streets of Britain by the end of this year, the government has confirmed. In a briefing document titled Action for Roads, the Department for Transport confirmed that Oxford University boffins will start trials of autonomous cars later this year. The scheme to take the human element out of motoring …
Jasper Hamill, 18 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

DfT rounds up Road-Pricing 2.0 contractors

The UK government's rebranded road-pricing scheme took another lurch forward this week, as the Department for Transport announced the companies which will build pilot technology. The Financial Times reports today that the DfT has named T-Systems (part of Deutsche Telekom), Trafficmaster, Sanef Tolling of France and US firm …
Lewis Page, 16 Sep 2008
The Register breaking news

DfT unaware of IT payout

MPs have revealed that the Department for Transport's permanent secretary was unaware it had paid £25m to an IT company for work on the Transport Direct project. The House of Commons Transport Committee's annual 2005 report into the Department for Transport (DfT) said permanent secretary David Rowlands "seemed unaware that …
Kablenet, 12 May 2006

Transport Dept dishes out £1.9m rail database deal to Capita

The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded Capita Symonds a contract for a rail passenger counts database system, worth £1.9m. The database will allow all train operating companies (TOCs) to upload data about the number of passengers on train services into a single, standardised, database. "The data will then be used by DfT …
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DfT scraps IT projects worth £15.4m

The Department for Transport has cancelled three major IT projects in the last year prior to their completion. The three projects scrapped by the department were known as TVTTT, VINI and ISYS. TVTTT, which involved tracking vehicles through the trade, had cost £7.8m when cancelled. It was ended "as another project was found to …
Kable, 22 Mar 2010
The Register breaking news

DfT magicians conjure a nation of car sharers

We are an environmentally conscious nation of car sharers, apparently. Or so the casual browser might conclude from a Department for Transport announcement claiming new research highlights "the popularity of car sharing." Sadly, predictably, all is not as it seems. According to the announcement a hefty 61 per cent of those …
John Lettice, 25 Jan 2008
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DfT spends £81m to save £57m

A Department of Transport plan to save £57m by moving to shared services - using centralised facilities for some business functions like HR - has ended up costing £87m. The system was examined by the National Audit Office in May which famously found the system barking orders at staff in German, failing to account for weekends …
John Oates, 16 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

Cops get 3D laser scanners for motorway crash sites

The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded 27 police forces across England £2.7m worth of funding for the implementation of 3D laser scanning technology. The government hopes that the technology will shorten motorway closures after crashes as the scanners will save time by quickly making a 3D image of the whole crash site, …

Big 20 cash hoovers: Slurp. Floop. Darn. Sluurrrp. Where's our public sector IT dosh?

Half of the top 20 software and IT services (SITS) suppliers to UK.gov saw their public sector biz decline last year as Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and his merry band of axemen waged war on the oligopoly. The names on the list collated by TechMarketView remains unchanged on a year ago but the proportion of revenues …
Paul Kunert, 21 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

Civil servants just can't keep a grip on their BlackBerrys

BlackBerrys have become the most lost or stolen item at the Department of Transport, a minister revealed yesterday, although thieves also seem to have a taste for heating fuel too. Under-Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker produced a shopping list of items "recorded as lost by or stolen from DFT staff, from either on …
Joe Fay, 06 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Councils and police to publish speed camera data

Local authorities and police forces are to publish figures on the results of installing speed cameras. Road safety minister Mike Penning said that councils will publish statistics on the numbers of accidents and casualties at camera sites dating back to 1990. Police forces are to provide details of the number of speeding …
The Register breaking news

Apple leases space in new Silicon Valley data center

Apple has leased space in a new Silicon Valley data center, according to a report citing "multiple industry sources". Data Center Knowledge reports that Apple has signed a seven-year lease for space in a new data center being built in by DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT). DFT discussed the lease in reporting its first quarter …
Cade Metz, 18 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Whitehall fraud pilots save £12m

The Cabinet Office says data-matching has helped its anti-fraud initiatives to stem huge losses from government funds. The government has said that three pilot projects aimed at tackling the £21bn lost each year through fraud and error have delivered £12m worth of savings in their first few months. According to an interim …
The Register breaking news

Top UK.gov CIOs dealt string of pay cuts and freezes

A number of major Whitehall departments have slashed their CIO salaries since 2008, according to central government figures. The salary of the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) CIO, a job previously held by Joe Harley before his retirement at the end of March, was £265,000-£270,000 in 2008-09. By 2011, that figure had …
The Register breaking news

Half of UK road users support usage-based road charging

A Department for Transport survey has found that more than half of UK adults believe that road charging should be based on usage. The finding is revealed in the DfT's survey of public attitudes to road congestion, published on 26 August 2010. Over four in five adults thought that congestion was a serious problem for the UK and …
Kable, 27 Aug 2010
The Register breaking news

Satnav mishap misery cure promised at confab

Ever get that sinking feeling after your satnav misdirects your car into a ditch? Relax, the government is wading in to help stressed-out drivers get more accurate information from the road-mapping devices. A summit will kick off in March ahead of local authorities being given more powers to have a bigger say about how their …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Transport Dept's answer to embarrassing, cancelled IT projects?

The Department of Transport has maintained a clean sheet on wasteful and abortive IT projects, by opting not to record any such SNAFUs. Opposition MPs have been making a sport of asking the ToryDem government for details of messed up IT projects - often disingenuously given it was the previous Labour government that initiated …
Joe Fay, 14 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

Labour Party told to stop spam-calls

The Information Commissioner's Office has told the Labour Party to stop using automated telephone diallers to contact people without their permission. In 2007 the party used a recorded message from Corrie's Vera Duckworth - or rather Liz Dawn, the actress who played her - to rally voters for the elections. The ICO received …
John Oates, 09 Feb 2010
The Register breaking news

Give Osborne a shovel: UK economy stuck in deep hole

The "debt storm" currently circling above the Eurozone is to blame for the gloomy state of the British economy, said the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who delivered his autumn statement to the House of Commons today. "Borrowing is falling, debt will come down, it's not happening as quickly as we wished... but we …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Traffic-light plague sweeps UK: Safety culture strangles Blighty

A massive increase in the number of traffic lights – and an un-discussed 2005 increase in the priority given to pedestrians – is gradually causing the roads to grind to a halt, according to a new report. In London for instance, despite a large number of motorists having been permanently deterred from driving by congestion …
Lewis Page, 28 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Airport scanners face double exposure

A warning shot from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) suggests that yet again, the UK government may be erring on the wrong side of the law – this time over the vexed question of airport scanners. Legal opinion is on their side: a barrister has told El Reg that the current scanning regime may not only be …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 18 Feb 2010
The Register breaking news

Government wastes millions on redundant cycle route planner

The government has wasted millions of pounds setting up a sub-optimal journey planner for cyclists – when an online system set up by enthusiasts provides wider coverage and more functionality at a fraction of the cost incurred by the Department for Transport (DfT). On the day that Alistair Darling and would-be Chancellor George …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 12 Apr 2010
The Register breaking news

Tough on e-vehicles, tough on the causes of e-vehicles

Tough on e-vehicles, tough on the causes of e-vehicles? The Government's ultra-low carbon vehicles strategy,* unveiled this week, seems at best a mechanism for keeping UK electric car development in a holding pattern for the next decade, and at worst a cunning, albeit inadvertent, plan to miss the boat entirely. There will be, …
John Lettice, 17 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

UK launches major road signage review

Transport minister Rosie Winterton has announced a major review of the UK's road signs, and is inviting the unwashed masses to chip in their two bits' worth as to how Blighty's signage might be improved. As the Department for Transport press release explains, the review will "will ensure that traffic signs keep pace with the …
Lester Haines, 15 Sep 2008
The Register breaking news

Airport scanner staff object to vetting

Security staff at Heathrow airport are reportedly furious at the suggestion that any of them would ever use pics taken from the new body scanners for lewd or lascivious purposes. Their reaction was reported last week in Skyport, a newspaper that carries news and features for those working at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 22 Jan 2010
The Register breaking news

Plod pioneers painless data collection

The Department for Transport (DfT) this week gave police, and motorists, an early Christmas present in the form of new equipment and software to support the annual drink drive campaign. The new kit will both improve the quality of roadside statistics and reduce the amount of time required to gather them. Unlike other database …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 02 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

UK mulls drink-drive limit cut

The government is considering cutting the UK's drink-drive limit under "mounting pressure...from road safety groups and also the British Medical Association", the Telegraph reports. Several police forces earlier this year expressed concern that drivers, especially younger ones, simply weren't taking on board the "don't drink …
Lester Haines, 15 Jun 2007
The Register breaking news

Transport Dept. IT: 23 years late, £100m over-budget

The Liberal Democrats have got their calculator out again and added up all the cost over-runs and delays at the myriad IT projects at the Department for Transport. Taken together, all the DfT's various IT projects are 23 years late and more than £100m over budget. This sounds bad until you realise that one project, the Shared …
John Oates, 31 Jan 2008
The Register breaking news

Blair's transport minister working for traffic-data firm

Stephen Ladyman, the former UK transport minister, is now working as an adviser to a traffic-data company. The MP, who stepped down from his ministerial post last year following the departure of Tony Blair but remains in Parliament, says in the Register of Members' Interests that he receives from £10,000 to £15,000 pa from ITIS …
Lewis Page, 07 Jan 2008
The Register breaking news

Lies, damned lies and government statistics

Apparently statistics are all down to personal opinion. Except, of course, when you are a government spokesperson, in which case they are the gospel truth. Despite expert evidence – and public exposure - that the “official estimate” of casualty reduction due to speed cameras is seriously overestimated, the Department for …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 08 Aug 2008
The Register breaking news

Department for Transport pours millions into eTicketing

The UK's Department for Transport is to pour £20m into eTicketing outside London, and £60m into eTicketing within the smoke. The numbers come from the Department's Smart and Integrated Ticketing Strategy, which lays out who is to get the money and what for. It asserts the Department's belief that if only people didn't have to …
Bill Ray, 18 Dec 2009
The Register breaking news

UK suspends speed camera deployment

There will be no new speed cameras deployed in the UK for several months pending a report into their effectiveness, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced. The University College London probe is not expected to be completed until the end of the year, and all applications for new cameras are duly suspended. A DfT …
Lester Haines, 15 Jul 2005
The Register breaking news

Compulsory perv scanners upset everyone

The debate over use of scanners in UK airports is rapidly turning into knock-about farce, as the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) takes a firm stand on some people’s right to privacy – whilst government disrespects everyone’s rights and prepares to hand over loads more dosh when it eventually loses the argument at the …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 27 Jan 2010
The Register breaking news

Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads

The proposition that speed cameras improve road safety looks likely to be severely crash-tested this summer, as government cutbacks make the likelihood of some counties becoming camera-free zones a near certainty. According to the Guardian, all 72 fixed speeding cameras in Oxfordshire are likely to disappear as the county …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 26 Jul 2010
The Register breaking news

'Big Brother' - the price of self-driving cars

Privacy campaigners have called in the national press for a debate over possible future car technologies being considered by the European Union. The Guardian "can reveal" today that the UK government "are the main backers" of the EU's Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems (CVIS), details of which "will be unveiled this year …
Lewis Page, 31 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Police poison speed debate with fuzzy figures

This may be the week when the Department for Transport learns about the risks of making a case for road safety based on figures that every expert in the field knows to be untrue. Swindon Council got a good old-fashioned clip around the ear on Thursday from David Ainsworth, Deputy Chief Constable of Wiltshire, who declared …
Jane Fae Ozimek, 24 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

UK.gov plans more active-traffic motorway ANPR cams

Things are jumping in the world of UK roadside cameras. In the last 24 hours the main contract for the London congestion charging zone has been won by IBM, edging out former provider Capita, and the government has announced plans for many more speed cameras on motorways - to be used in "active management" of heavy traffic. …
Lewis Page, 26 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

DVLA urged to consider number plate recognition

An NAO report has said the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) should consider using automatic number plate recognition to estimate the level of vehicle tax evasion. The report (pdf) says that despite receiving many plaudits for its electronic vehicle licensing (EVL) system, which enables customers to pay vehicle excise …
Kablenet, 20 Jul 2007
The Register breaking news

Road pricing 'back-burnered' by Brown gov't

Blighty's dark Orwellian future may have been put on hold, as news breaks that the Brown government has abandoned road-pricing plans in their current various forms. The city government of London, meanwhile, under the direction of roguish cheeky-chappie Mayor Ken Livingstone, continues to charge ahead with technology-based …
Lewis Page, 15 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

Road Pricing 2.0 is two years away

The government's "Managed Motorway" re-badged road-pricing scheme seems to be taking on more shape, with reports indicating that technical elements of it will commence testing from 2010. The Telegraph says this morning that contracts are close to being signed for trials of "Spy in the Sky" car-tracking equipment and associated …
Lewis Page, 18 Aug 2008
The Register breaking news

Road charging, the sequel - Kelly unveils 'wired m-way' plans

UK national road pricing is, for the present, a dead duck. Or - as Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly put it yesterday - "many years away". Instead, new car sharing and toll lanes figured high in Kelly's publicity - but the actual plans are a deal more interesting, effectively proposing a graduated switch to a managed motorway …
John Lettice, 05 Mar 2008