Transport for London launches traffic tracker tool

Transport for London has launched a live traffic website, allowing drivers in the capital to access real-time information about traffic hotspots and helping them to avoid congestion.

The website, which can be found at tfl.gov.uk/trafficnews, provides access to a network of 170 “jam cams”, as well as information on incidents that may affect drivers' journeys. Users can browse traffic delays using an interactive map, or by viewing incidents in list form.

All of London's major roads are covered by the new service, but particular attention is being given to the 14 transport “corridors” which form the 580km TfL Road Network (TLRN). The organisation has appointed 23 managers to oversee each individual corridor, who will be responsible for scrutinising these red routes and improving traffic flow.

TfL has also opened a new Twitter account at @TfLTrafficNews, which delivers live updates on incidents that are causing delays. Followers can check the status of particular roads and routes using hashtags.

Updates are provided by TfL's Surface Transport Traffic Operations Centre between 6.30am and 9pm each weekday. Londoners can also report disruptive or badly managed roadworks by visiting tfl.gov.uk/roadworks, or by using a GPS enabled mobile device to tweet @report_it with the hashtag #roadworks.

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“This new service will give motorists and indeed other road users the power to become the eye in the sky and avoid nasty snarl ups,” said Mayor of London Boris Johnson. “Anyone with internet access or a mobile phone will be able to check out the latest situation on their chosen route and make informed journey choices.”

The initiative is part of the Mayor's plans to smooth traffic flow for road users in London ahead of the Olympic Games. Other measures include working with the boroughs and utility companies to restrict the number of roadworks that can be carried out at any one time. The aim is to reduce disruption by 40 percent by the end of 2012.

The traffic data, including live traffic camera images and live traffic disruption feeds, is also being made freely available to software and app developers. TfL is encouraging developers to build apps, widgets and online tools to help motorists access up-to-the-minute traffic information in new ways.

TfL also recently announced plans to make Wi-Fi connections available on the platforms and escalators of 120 tube stations in London in time for the Olympic Games. The organisations said that preparations are “on schedule,” even though a provider has not yet been chosen.