Social and Economic Intelligence > Regularly Updated and Live Transport Information
Real time road traffic/ road works information
The Highways Agency publishes live traffic information for England's motorways and major A-roads. The central north area includes the results for Lancashire. Once the map has loaded, the traffic cameras option can be activated and images from a number of sites in the county can be viewed. You can also use the 'view large map' option to quickly compare the current position in Lancashire with the rest of the country. The Highways Agency also offers real time traffic services for the public and business customers. They include RSS feeds and email alerts.
There is also the very useful BBC Lancashire Jam Cams, for congestion news. Other web pages in this transport theme highlight the minor recent yearly reductions in traffic flows and licensed vehicles in Lancashire. This will have a small impact on local daily traffic conditions.
Information on current and future road works undertaken by organisations such as the Highways Agency and Network Rail can be found on the roadworks website that is provided by Elgin. The information is useful for those who work in traffic management and for members of the public in general.
Real time car park availability
Real time availability of car parking spaces is one indication of current traffic activity and a proxy for the commercial vitality of particular areas. Schemes to assist in monitoring local transport issues include monitoring car park availability in real time. Constantly updated figures are available for a selection of car parks in the Burnley, Chorley and Preston areas.
Real time and regularly updated flight information for Blackpool airport
Live flight information at Blackpool airport is available on the company's website. The airport has seen volatile traffic numbers over recent years, and the daily traffic flows naturally reflect its role as a modest regional airport.
UK airport statistics are released by the Civil Aviation Authority. The results are updated each month and allow traffic numbers from Blackpool to be tracked by destination name on a regular basis. Table 12.1 has the international passenger traffic results, and gives the monthly total of passengers per service, and the comparable number for the period 12 months earlier. After opening the file, sort by UK airport to easily identify the results for Blackpool. In early 2012, the routes listed covered services to Dublin, Alicante and Tenerife. Numbers for traffic to oil rigs are also included under the international heading. Table 12.2 has domestic flights and gives the passenger numbers for those who use the route to the Isle-of-Man.
Real time activity at Lancashire ports
Real time details are available for ship arrivals, departures, expected arrivals and vessels in port at Heysham. The Fleetwood – Larne service was withdrawn in December 2010, and the port nowadays has only a limited number of fishing and other vessels that use the facility. Glasson Dock is a small port to the south of Lancaster.
Other sections within this transport theme detail the actual yearly traffic levels at these three ports.
As part of the global maritime safety system, ships of over 300 tons are required to broadcast their positions using an Automatic Identification System. Real time information regarding the movements of large vessels is available at the ShipAIS website. In comparison to a number of other coastal areas, traffic levels around the Lancashire coastline are relatively minor.
Real time passenger and other rail services
Northern Rail is train operating company that serves all but two of the passenger stations in Lancashire on the national network. The company's live service disruption facility covers the Lancashire area and beyond, and any disruptions will impact on Virgin Trains and First Transpennine Express services that serve various stations in Lancashire. Northern Rail serves Ormskirk station, but Merseyrail is the main operator in the town. It also exclusively calls at two other Lancashire stations on the route into Liverpool. On the website's home page, there is a current service status feed.
The National Rail website has the live departures and arrivals facility that covers every station in the country that is on the national network. The website also has a page that looks at how the network as a whole is currently running for all train operators across the country, and includes links to twitter feeds.
Rail station usage figures confirm the yearly growth in passenger numbers at Lancashire stations, and keeping daily service level problems down to a minimum can only enhance this trend.
By using the three-letter station codes from the national rail website, it is possible to check the real-time results for passenger and non passenger rail traffic via the real time trains website. The site provides a detailed indication of all types of passenger, freight, empty coaching stock etc, trains that use the rail network in the Lancashire area.
Real time broadband speeds
The Lancashire Superfast Broadband project is led by the county council and aims to bring improved broadband speeds to businesses and communities across the region by 2014. The Uswitch broadband speed test compares the current speeds of different providers at the postcode level.