Tag: London roads

DevelopersNews

London Marathon – Road Closures Data

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.

The London Marathon

Our road closures data set for the London Marathon is part of a pilot to allow us to trial a different approach to releasing data. Picture via http://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com

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InformationNews

Disruptive Technology & Road Transport – Event Review

The Disruptive Technology and Road Transport event took place last Wednesday, February 10, and was part of the Streets Ahead exhibition currently running at the New London Architecture.

The purpose of the event was to continue TfL’s engagement with the technology sector and road user groups, to consider how technology is introducing new challenges and opportunities for the way the road network functions. It was also a good chance to help shape our collective thinking on how to respond, and to identify the role that the tech sector can play in solving some of the challenges London faces.

The event was split into two halves, with speakers presenting to the audience in the first half before a group discussion across multiple tables, with each tackling a different topic.

The speakers at the event were as follows:

  • Chair’s Welcome: Ben Plowden (TfL)
  • Scene Setting: Isabel Dedring (Deputy Mayor for Transport)
  • The Future is Now: Greg Lindsay (Journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker.
  • Traffic Management in the Digital Age: Alan Bristow and Helen Chapman (TfL)
Isabel Dedring

Isabel Dedring, the Deputy Mayor for Transport, introduces the major themes of the afternoon in the opening presentation

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InformationNews

Disruptive Technology & Road Transport Event – Register Now

Register now for the Disruptive Technology and Road Transport event, taking place at New London Architecture on Wednesday February 10. 

With London’s population on course to grow to more than 10 million by 2031, it’s never been more important for organisations to understand how to plan for the future. But with so many developments and kickstarters already being worked on, how do businesses work out whether ipads, autonomous vehicles or hoverboards are the future when thinking what the world will look like in 20 years time?

On 10 February, renowned future thinker Greg Lindsay will be holding a presentation and discussion session with London’s Deputy Mayor, Isabel Dedring and TfL’s Ben Plowden, as the centrepiece of the ‘Disruptive Technology and Road Transport’ event being hosted by the New London Architecture.

London’s population is set to grow to more than 10 million by 2031. How will technology shape our lives as we face this challenge?

London’s population is set to grow to more than 10 million by 2031. How will future technology shape our lives as we the city grows at such a rapid pace?

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DevelopersInformation

Improved Roads Open Data – Car Parks & JamCams

In my previous post on Roads Open Data I outlined the importance of providing quality data for London’s roads, particularly at a time when our Road Modernisation Plan is being implemented and we are urging drivers to check for disruption before they travel.

We continue to make improvements to our roads open data, with London Underground live car parking spaces availability now available through the Unified API, as well as live video JamCams that give a far better indication of how traffic is flowing in the Capital.

London Underground car parks

London Underground has over 60 car parks with over 11,000 spaces. With the help of our partners NCP and SmartParking, we have released live data showing available spaces for 25 of these car parks. We are seeing whether we can expand the feed to cover all London Underground car parks in the future.

We don’t have this showing on tfl.gov.uk yet, but we’ve made the feed available as open data in the Unified API so that the dev community can have a head start.

You can get the full list of Car Parks from the Places API, which can also be searched by lat/long bounding box or radius. For each car park, we return information such as the address, opening hours, payment methods and facilities, and in some cases, the live occupancy. In the example below, Barkingside Station car park, the OccupancyUrl is returned, indicating that live data is available.

{
  "id": "CarParks_800491",
  "url": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Place/CarParks_800491",
  "commonName": "Barkingside Stn (LUL)",
  "placeType": "CarPark",
  "additionalProperties": [
  {
    "category": "Description",
    "key": "NumberOfSpaces",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "46",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  },
  {
    "category": "Description",
    "key": "NumberOfDisabledBays",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "2",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  },
  {
    "category": "Meta",
    "key": "OccupancyUrl",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Occupancy/CarPark/CarParks_800491",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  }...

The URL is based on the place id of the car park, for example “CarParks_800491” so if you know the Car Park id, you can go straight to the occupancy data. We use a separate URL because we have a much shorter time-to-live in our cache for the occupancy vs. the place data (60 seconds and 1 day respectively). In the example below, using Barkingside again, we can see that there’s no spaces available right now.

{
 "id": "CarParks_800491",
 "bays": [
    {
     "bayType": "Disabled",
     "bayCount": 2,
     "free": 0,
     "occupied": 2
    },
    {
     "bayType": "Pay and Display Parking",
     "bayCount": 45,
     "free": 0,
     "occupied": 45
    }
  ],
  "name": "Barkingside Stn (LUL)",
  "carParkDetailsUrl": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Place/CarParks_800491"
}

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DevelopersInformationNews

Standardisation in roads open data

This week we have a guest post from Duncan Elder, an Associate with IBI Group and a specialist in transport data, spatial information and customer information systems.

In Part 4 of the series on the Unified API on this blog, Tim discussed TfL’s roads open data and gave guidance on how to build apps using this data. Having worked closely with TfL for some time now, this prompted me to expand upon Tim’s post with a look at a long-standing issue around this kind of data – standardisation.

Whilst it is widely agreed that data held by transport agencies should be made open, there remains a question over how easily this open data can be exchanged and used by various parties. UK public transport agencies have been rather ahead of the curve here, as the exchange of train, bus and tube information is underpinned by the use of standard approaches for describing data, such as exists with NAPTAN and TransXchange, and the equivalents in Europe; Transmodel, IFOPT and NeTex.

This means that in the UK we are used to seeing widely available public transport journey planners and information from a range of different providers, all of which would be unlikely to exist without a standardised approach from the various sources of open data which power these tools.

However, when it comes to roads open data things are much more complex, with the data held by public bodies less centralised, the number of miles of roads much greater than rail, and the number of possible sources of roads data far greater. This includes an increase in the use of crowd-sourced data, in addition to existing sources of road information, which adds to the difficulty in establishing a standardised approach to data provision.

Road data

Open data for roads is a complex proposition, with many more miles of road than rail and a far greater number of possible sources

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DevelopersInformationNews

Urban Traffic Data Hackathon – Nov 14-15

Roland Major, Enterprise Architect within TfL’s Information Management team, reports on the Urban Traffic Data Hackathon.

In the last post on this blog, Tim introduced the roads data available in our unified API, describing its importance as we encourage road users to check before travelling while we carry out our Road Modernisation Plan.

We continue to engage with developers to help us in making driving in London better, with innovative solutions to traffic, road disruption and planned works information through apps created from our open data. As part of our engagement with the developer community we held an Urban Traffic Data Hackathon on 14-15 November.

Supported by our Roads Space Management team, the event was planned in order to give us the opportunity to engage directly with developers to work on creative and innovative solutions to the challenges on London’s roads. In putting the Hackathon together, we worked with Data Science London (DSL), the largest data science community in Europe, and arranged for data scientists and innovators who are members of DSL to take part in the event.

Queen Mary University hosted our Urban Traffic Data Hackathon on 14-15 November

Queen Mary University hosted our Urban Traffic Data Hackathon on 14-15 November

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DevelopersInformation

Unified API Part 4: Roads Data

In Part 3 of this series, I gave examples of finding the ‘Routes of Things’ using the Unified API. This post will focus on roads – how to find and make use of the traffic, road disruption and planned works information on London’s road network.

We’re really keen for customers to check for disruption before they travel on all forms of transport, including the capital’s roads. Developers working with our Unified API have a really important role to play in developing products that meet road users’ needs. This is particularly important as we implement our Road Modernisation Plan – £4bn of investment in improving London’s roads – so planning ahead during these works is crucial for businesses and drivers across the city.

This means that the apps developers create will be meeting a genuine need, and we’re keen to make this process as easy as possible by explaining what data is available, how it can be used, and by taking feedback so we can make improvements.

All of the API examples in this page are live, however they do not include API authentication tokens. This means that if you follow the link as is, you will be using anonymous access, which is throttled for fair use, so you may get a 403 response. It is recommended for your own development you obtain an ‘app_key’ and ‘app_id’ by registering here. The data in these examples will be in JSON format, so installing a JSON formatter plugin in your browser will help you read the data returned.

Let’s start with the most prominent example of the roads information, shown when viewing the Traffic status board.

The Traffic Status Board gives info on all TfL managed routes on the London road network

The Traffic Status Board gives info on all TfL managed routes on the London road network

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