Big data release from Cambridge city centre traffic survey

PUBLISHED: 05:09 22 November 2017

10 05 16 General views Cambridge. Traffic congestion, East Rd. Picture: Keith Heppell

10 05 16 General views Cambridge. Traffic congestion, East Rd. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

The Greater Cambridge Partnership is welcoming the city’s data scientists to give their own analysis.

Preliminary ‘big data’ from an eight-day study of vehicle movements in Cambridge has been published by the Greater Cambridge Partnership.

The data, which is anonymous, captures information on vehicle movements in, out and through the city. It has been made available as ‘open data’ - allowing public access and the chance to suggest innovative transport solutions.

It follows some initial findings published earlier this month, which showed that over five million vehicle journeys were captured in a single week and over half of the cars recorded (56 per cent) were diesel and contributing to the city’s pollution levels.

Councillor Francis Burkitt, chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership, said: “We are pleased that we can release some initial data into the public domain, so residents and other interested parties are able to undertake their own analysis and participate in the ongoing development of the city’s future transport provision.

“A traffic survey of this scale has never been done before in Cambridge so we’re proud to be achieving another first for our great city. The sheer volume of data means it’s taking some time to review and we need to ensure its anonymity and accuracy.”

This initial data, published on Cambridgeshire Insight, provides origin and destination and trip chain reports derived from the traffic survey using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras undertaken across the Cambridge area from 10 - 17 June 2017.

The remainder of the vast dataset is currently being reviewed to ensure that no vehicle is identifiable and the data remains fully anonymous. It is envisaged that the full dataset from the traffic survey will be published in early 2018.

Datasets can be found online at Cambridgeshire Insight

The ANPR survey was undertaken to provide additional and up-to-date information on the city’s road network to help inform the development of transport schemes.

The origin and destination reports published provide information on the first and last cameras triggered on vehicle journeys across the city. The trip chain reports provide additional detail, giving the camera survey sites triggered along vehicle routes across the network.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership has a number of upcoming events on tackling some of the city’s transport issues, including a Wayfinding Hackathon on 25 November, workshop for staff and visitors to Addenbrooke’s Hospital on 28 November, followed by a Cambridge Network Future Transport Event on 30 November.

Visit the Greater Cambridge Partnership website for more information at

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