New data 'revolution' to be unveiled
Swathes of information – including real-time travel updates and details of road works, house prices and even weather forecasts – are to be opened up to the public, George Osborne will announce next week.
In a transparency "revolution", the NHS will also release data about patient care over decades, building up a detailed picture of which treatments are the most successful at fighting illness. The moves, to be unveiled in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, are designed primarily to help create economic growth and jobs by boosting investment in medical research and digital technology. But he will also insist their effect will be to improve healthcare and make everyday life easier for travellers and motorists.
Mr Osborne will announce that real-time information about train services across Britain will be available by April, alongside details of the running times of buses at the country's 350,000 bus stops.
The aim is that companies will use the information to make alternative arrangements when there are hold-ups in the rail system, as well as helping commuters arrive at work on time. By the end of next year, there will also be monthly updates of roadworks on local roads, helping drivers avoid traffic jams.
The Met Office will also release far more information about weather forecasts, while the Land Registry will publish monthly details of house sales down to street level.
The NHS information release is aimed at helping research by pharmaceutical companies, who can examine the long-term efficacy of different drugs.
Mr Osborne will say the data, which will be released for free, will also enable hi-tech companies to release apps on smartphones and the web. Information about roadworks could be used in "satnav" technology.
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