In the Sunday Telegraph, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude revealed that the push for ‘open government’ would result in new datasets being published by the Department for Transport.
He said: "Starting this Tuesday the Department for Transport will publish useful raw data on road-works, cycle routes, and car parks, to help travellers use our transport networks better.
"Proper application of this data will allow people to better plan their journeys. [The data] may have been used to develop applications so you can organise your school run avoiding the accident black-spots, or get better access to our growing network of cycle routes."
The data will consist of info on cycle track widths and surface types, and will be quickly absorbed into open source projects such as the OpenStreetMap and will then be used by cycle journey planners and via smartphone apps such as those produced by Cyclestreets and the one funded by the Bike Hub levy, which is a cycle-specific satnav that geo-locates bike shops. Maude said: "In England alone, it is estimated that over two billion hours per year are lost because of traffic jams. Road-works and traffic jams don’t just cost us time – they cost businesses money."
With more people on bikes, congestion in cities would be reduced greatly.
There are around 7,500 data sets already on data.gov.uk.
Martin Lucas-Smith of Cyclestreets said: "We welcome the excellent progress the DfT has been making on opening up the cycling survey data. By making this more widely available, people planning cycle journeys online and on smartphone apps will see even better and safer routes for their journey, resulting in more people cycling, more safely, more often."