Motorists to get jam-busting traffic info

Highways Agency to trial new service on motorways this summer
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Highways Agency to trial new service on motorways this summer

The Highways Agency (HA) is to try to help motorists plan their journeys better by using electronic motorway signs to display more detailed and up-to-the-minute travel information.

The trial will take place on parts of the UK's motorway network this summer and the signs will tell drivers how long a journey between different locations is likely to take in current conditions and how long any delays will last.

The HA is also developing trials of other potential new services to provide traffic information to motorists. Earlier this year the HA announced a 12-month trial that will allow drivers to download video footage from motorway CCTV cameras onto their mobile phones to help them avoid jams.

The move is part of a wider push to provide real-time traffic information through a variety of channels to help motorists plan their journeys both before they head out and while they are on the road - the HA claims more than three-quarters of drivers don't plan their journeys at all.

The HA has also just published a new guide detailing the different ways drivers can access traffic information to help plan and manage road journeys.

The Think Ahead, Move Ahead booklet outlines the various HA website, telephone and motorway information resources motorists can use to access real-time traffic information on England's 7,300km of motorways and trunk roads from the agency's National Traffic Control Centre.

Roads minister Stephen Ladyman said in a statement: "People can find out about traffic conditions before they set off, while they are travelling or even when they've stopped at a motorway service station for a cup of coffee. They can find out if there will be any delays and how to avoid them. If they can't change their route, they will have a more realistic idea of how long their journey will take."

In an interview with silicon.com last year Denise Plumpton, information director at the HA, said in-car technology is likely to be one of the main delivery channels of this kind of traffic information in the future.

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