The London Marathon is one of the most famous sporting events in the world, and thousands of participants will once again be taking up the challenge through central London on April 24. There will be significant road closures on and around the route of the Marathon and drivers are advised, where possible, to avoid driving in central and southeast London from early morning until evening.
There are typically full road closures, starting early in the morning between Greenwich Park and St James’s Park. Central and City closures will typically include all approaches to Upper Thames Street, Tower Hill and Victoria Embankment. Rotherhithe Tunnel, Tower, Southwark and Westminster bridges will also be closed. A phased reopening of roads usually takes place from around midday with all roads expected to be fully reopened by 19:00.
Some roads that are nearby the closures are also generally busier as a result of drivers seeking alternative routes, and we’re determined to help road users as much as we possibly can on the day of the event.
What have we done?
To allow third parties to understand the extent, scope and timing of these road closures, we’ve created a data set of all the road closures that will be in place for this year’s London Marathon. This has been created using an industry data exchange standard called DATEX II.
This is part of a pilot where we’ll be trialling a different approach to releasing data, with the intention of helping developers make great products for drivers.
What is DATEX?
DATEX II is a multi-part Standard, maintained by CEN Technical Committee 278, CEN/TC278, (Road Transport and Traffic Telematics), see www.itsstandards.eu.
DATEX is a standardised way of communicating and exchanging traffic information between traffic centres, service providers, traffic operators and media partners. The specification provides a harmonised way of exchanging data across boundaries, at a system level, to enable better management of the road network.
See http://www.datex2.eu for more information on the standard.
Why have we done it?
A standard way of publishing road information may benefit organisations who are already consuming data from other organisations provided in the same way. Also, we’re releasing data earlier and providing an updated and more accurate network and geographic description of the road closures.
What data is included?
All planned road closures in London, including closures on both the TfL and borough road networks. Data includes all geographic descriptions of road closures, time and dates.
Will these be updated?
As it stands, the data provided is the most up to date available. If and when there are updates to the planned road closures further versions of the dataset will be released. If required these updates will be released in a structured manner (including reference to what has changed). We plan to release no more than two further versions – one in late March and then a final version just before the start of the event on April 24 2016.
Where can you access the data?
The London Marathon road closures data set can be accessed at http://londonmarathon.data.tfl.gov.uk and is open access.
We would love to hear what you think of this trial; what does and doesn’t work for you, how we could improve similar offerings in future, and so on. Please leave us a comment below to let us know your thoughts.