The UK’s free-to-view national roadworks portal Elgin has used the London Marathon to trial a new service that allows public event organizers, and others, to provide minute-by-minute updates of road closures and reopenings to satellite navigation services, such as Google Maps.
Elgin (Electronic Local Government Information Network), which is the local and national communications hub for live and planned roadworks, road closures and traffic disruptions, plans to make its new Traffic Management App (TM App) widely-available in the very near future. Using the TM App operating in ‘Real-Time’ mode, traffic management professionals and control room operators can now signal the precise moment when road closures come into force, and when they are reopened. Within minutes, anyone using Google Maps and other consumer navigation and routing services can see the change reflected on their device, reaching tens of thousands more affected citizens than is often reached by official websites.
The technology was successfully trialled during last weekend’s London Marathon, with over 100 road closures being managed in real-time through Elgin’s technology across a large part of central London. The ability to provide real-time updates to consumer services, such as Google, can greatly reduce the impact of traffic management interventions on the travelling public, commercial road users, and local residents. Along with public events organizers, Elgin plans to roll out its latest real-time technology to highway authority streetworks teams and transport agencies over the coming months. Specially trained users will be authorized to manage and publish road closures and other disruptions, so that they are updated live on mainstream consumer map services.
Originally part of a Jacobs Engineering e-Government project, and now a privately-owned organization, Elgin publishes road closures and other traffic disruption information on its roadworks.org website, and syndicates data to hundreds of other websites and social media channels. Now a core part of the national data infrastructure, Elgin operates under a unique public-private governance structure, and is considered to be one of the best examples of cost saving across local government using a shared service. With the upcoming widespread availability of its Traffic Management App technology, Elgin will give traffic management officials, for the first time, the ability to reflect the situation on the ground onto the devices that drivers and residents use for navigation and journey planning in real time.