Don’t let the weather put you off sustainable travel with Peterborough’s new phone app!
Have you ever been put off cycling or walking by seeing ominous, dark rainclouds gathering outside your window? Well now Peterborough is set to be the home of a brand new phone app, which will provide hyper-localised and precise rainfall predictions, enabling you to plan your travel routes, safe in the knowledge you’ll stay dry!
The city’s environmental charity, Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), has teamed up with Meniscus, Anglia Ruskin University, and Loughborough University to launch a brand new app-development project in Peterborough called Hyperlocal Rainfall, funded by Innovate UK. The project is looking to deliver a brand new phone app that will help people to make informed decisions about travel around Peterborough, by providing hyperlocalised rainfall predictions, in five minute intervals for the hour ahead.
This is the first project of its kind and will allow Peterborough residents to walk and cycle more by being able to plan their trips whilst taking the weather into account and hence improve their health and wellbeing.
‘By delivering very accurate rainfall predictions specific to a location or planned journey, this project looks to help the residents of Peterborough when they are walking and cycling around the city,’ explains Project Officer Freya Herman. ‘We also intend for there to be incentives for app-users, such as vouchers for local shops.’
The project will use a combination of real time radar-based rainfall data with real time weather data from weather stations across the city, in addition to historic rainfall information to deliver these hyperlocal predictions, which will be made available to residents via a free mobile phone app. Over the past few months major steps have been made on the project with an amazing amount of help and support from the people of Peterborough! Late last year, the project held one-to-one interviews to find out how having access to better knowledge about when and where it is going to rain could support the participants with walking, jogging and cycling, and how best it could help people travel sustainably around Peterborough.
‘We also undertook group discussion sessions to develop on the feedback from the interviews. These sessions helped us build a better picture of how people would want to interact with Hyperlocal Rainfall’s improved short-term rainfall predictions to plan their journeys and (with the help of many brightly coloured pens!) how the app could look,’ explains Freya. ‘The sessions also gave us interesting insights into other ways the Hyperlocal Rainfall app may be useful, such as when to hang out the laundry or have your afternoon BBQ!
‘So, all this fantastic information we have gathered is now guiding the app’s development process. The input is helping us work towards creating the strongest and most supportive app for sustainable travel around Peterborough. I would like to take this opportunity to again thank everybody who has been involved so far with Hyperlocal Rainfall, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we have!’
The project partners are now working to complete the initial version of the app. Then from here, they will be running user trials to test the app around Peterborough. To get involved, call Freya Herman on 01733 882545 or email . For regular updates on the progress of the app, visit www.pect.org.uk/blog