How can Technology Innovation rescue a father in distress?

This weekend my daughter Florence had to get to her audition for the National Youth Orchestra. It’s her absolute highlight of her year participating in the NYO orchestra training and big events like performing in the summer Proms season in the Royal Albert Hall. Competition is intense so you need to be relaxed to perform at your very best.

London roads in gridlock preparing for the Olympics

Public transport isn’t running properly over the weekends as the underground network is being upgraded for next year’s Olympics, so we’d left an extra hour to travel the 15 minute car journey across London to Hampstead. Unfortunately the whole of London also appears to be in their cars too on Sundays faced with the same problem and the roads just can’t cope so central London is in gridlock. So an hour had passed and we were jammed in traffic when a fantastic piece of Technology came to the rescue.

Google Maps to the rescue

I was using Google maps on my mobile phone to get to the venue and then suddenly realised to switch on the real time traffic overlay. It tells you the speed of the traffic on all the main roads, so I was able to work out a tortuous route through back streets and alternative main roads to get past all the logjams (showing up with a deep red warning on the Google maps traffic overlay) in the road network.

Technology Innovation in the public sector

On my research today, I discovered that the Highways Agency has made available the road traffic data on England’s roads to Google. It’s a fantastic example of Technology Innovation being applied in the public sector. So three cheers to the Highways Agency and their boffins who made this all possible.

A happy ending?

And yes we did make it to the audition with 10 minutes to spare, we await the results later this week so fingers crossed.
What’s your best traffic jam anecdote? Let me know.

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