A new in-house website provides a definitive source of traffic data to the public, delivering cost savings and efficiency improvements for the Department for Transport (DfT).
Traffic data from DfT is used for a wide range of purposes. It aids local authorities with road maintenance planning, as well as providing the general public with access to data about the level of traffic in and around their local areas.
Retailers such as supermarkets and petrol stations also use the data to inform the location of their services. This case study explains how the DfT used Ordnance Survey (OS) data to develop a whole new solution.
The logistical challenges
The DfT Traffic Statistics team’s original website, first developed in 2005, attracted around one thousand unique visitors each month.
However, there were challenges:
- The department was receiving many individual requests for information that could not be downloaded from the existing mapping website.
- The Traffic Statistics team took the decision to develop a replacement website that could use the latest web-mapping technologies.
A new traffic count website has been developed by the DfT’s in-house web team using OS OpenSpace API to provide immediate and easy access to data.
The website provides Annual Average Daily Flow (AADF) and traffic data for every junction-to-junction link on the ‘A’ road and motorway network in Great Britain. It allows the user to search, view and download data for every year from 2000 onwards.
The new mapping tool runs on OS OpenSpace, a free service from OS that allows users to embed its maps into web applications. It delivers interactive maps that pinpoint traffic count locations across England, Scotland and Wales. This was underpinned with data from OS OpenData, which allows free access to a selection of the most detailed mapping datasets available for Great Britain.
"Feedback from users has been very positive, with hit rates double those of the old website. Using new technology, including OS OpenSpace, has contributed to the team making savings of approximately £30,000 annually."Traffic Statistics, Department for Transport.
The data-driven benefits
- Number of unique website users doubled during the first two months.
- The project contributed to savings of approximately £30,000 each year by developing and hosting the website in-house.
- Elimination of on-going running costs.
- Positive customer feedback since the new tool went live.
- Easy to maintain, update and enhance in-house to meet user needs.
- Plans to develop the application to include other DfT datasets in the future.