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DfT to open up data on road changes


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced plans to open up data on planned changes to the roads network.

It said the release of data on traffic regulation orders (TROs) could lay the ground for developers to provide a new generation of navigational apps, potentially harnessing AI, to provide drivers with long term warnings of planned disruptions and indicating alternative routes.

The department is looking at introducing legislation to make it easier for third parties to access the data on the predicted 50,000 yearly road closures. It is working with organisations including local authorities and those in the connected and autonomous vehicle sector.

TROs are the orders behind restrictions on the road network that allow for temporary roadworks or permanent changes.

The DfT commissioned research from GeoPlace – the joint venture between Ordnance Survey and the Local Government Association that maintains national spatial address datasets – on how the TRO process is working, how it could be opened up and whether this would encourage innovations in traffic controls.

Minister for the Future of Transport George Freeman said: “As a road user, there is nothing more frustrating than discovering roadworks and getting stuck in traffic jams. Today’s announcement will help open up data, reducing congestion, pollution and frustration for road users.”

Image by Sam Kelly through Wikimedia Commons

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