New open data: Busiest times at Blackwall Tunnel

The Blackwall Tunnel (A102) is one of the busiest places on London’s road network. In recent years, journey times have increased and drivers can expect delays to their journey at some times of day. We’ve released this data to the open data community, to enable developers to build the information into their products.  

Our data shows the busiest times at Blackwall Tunnel so developers can include this information in journey-planning apps

What our data shows

*Follow this link to find the data.

1)    The busiest time in the northbound tunnel on a weekday is from 07:00 – 07:30. In heavy traffic conditions, drivers’ journeys could be 15 minutes quicker if they travelled between 06.30-07.00 instead of 07:00 – 07:30.

2)    The busiest time in the northbound tunnel on a weekend is from 13.30 – 15.00. In heavy traffic conditions, drivers’ journeys could be 15 minutes quicker if they travelled between 12.00-13.00 instead of 13.30- 15.00.

We have made this data available to the open data community so you can use it to create products which display the busiest times at the tunnel, allowing drivers to choose to travel outside of these periods or create products for planning quicker and more reliable journeys.

Tell us what you think

We encourage the community to provide feedback on our new data sets to help us continue to enhance and improve our open data products. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our tech forum.

Ticketmaster and TfL Hack Day

It was great to be part of London Tech Week through the excellent Hack Day on Friday June 16, put together by the teams at Ticketmaster and Transport for London. With over 600 apps powered by our data in the market place, I always look forward to these events as it allows me to raise awareness of TfL’s open data approach providing the opportunity for organisations and individuals to develop their own creative solutions.

This has helped to form new businesses, create jobs and launch new customer-facing travel products, giving customers more choice on their devices. A great part of this process is that this type of event is open to everyone at no cost, so we saw students, corporate professionals, freelancers, academics and participants from other sectors.


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June 16: TfL and Ticketmaster London Hack Day

As part of London Tech Week, TfL are teaming up with the market-leading ticketing company in the UK, Ticketmaster, to host a hackathon at their London HQ. Bring your ideas to life at the London Hack Day, hosted by TfL and Ticketmaster on Friday June 16.

Join us at our hack day in association with Ticketmaster on June 16, part of London Tech Week

Continue reading June 16: TfL and Ticketmaster London Hack Day

Unified API: Taxi Ranks Added to Places

Taxis are an important, trusted and iconic part of London’s transport system, and they also offer a vital service for disabled people. There are currently around 640 taxi ranks in the capital, serving key locations and one in five of all taxi journeys start at a rank. We have released the location of all London taxi ranks in our Unified API, allowing open data users to enhance or develop new apps and products for customers planning taxi journeys.

Taxi rank
Taxi rank data for ranks closest to stations, such as this one outside Waterloo, is now available to app developers through our Unified API

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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"
}

Continue reading Improved Roads Open Data – Car Parks & JamCams

Is customer flow data useful to developers?

With a real focus on our Unified API and open data policy in recent months, both on this blog and through the Hackathons and events (such as the Urban Traffic Hackathon a few weeks ago) that TfL staff have been involved with, we’ve received lots of great feedback and questions from the developer community, just as we’d hoped we would.  

One such question that has cropped up many times is one around customer volume and flow data, i.e. how can we help developers create apps that take into account how busy certain lines, stations, platforms, etc are likely to be when customers are planning a journey. 

To provide an update on where we are with this data, TfL’s Data Services Manager Ryan Sweeney offers this summary, and asks for your feedback to help us ensure we’re providing data that is both relevant and useful: 

Queen Mary University
Participants at TfL’s Urban Traffic Data Hackathon, held at Queen Mary University in November.

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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

Continue reading Unified API Part 4: Roads Data