Motorway messages will calculate journey timesSigns and radio service will help drivers

11 September 2007

 

Drivers on motorways including the M25 can now see real-time information about journey times on roadside signs.

The new service is due to be rolled out on motorways across England following successful trials in the West Midlands and South West.

The messages, part of a new service from the National Traffic Control Centre, tell drivers the expected travel time to specific junctions on the M25. The service also includes the M6 up to Carlisle and the M5 down to the south west.

The Highways Agency has also launched Traffic Radio, a new service that gives up-to-date (10-20 minutes intervals) traffic information via digital radio and online at www.trafficradio.org.uk

Journey times calculated

The roadside messageboards work by using current information captured from automatic number plate recognition cameras and comparing it against historical traffic data on that particular stretch of motorway.

Calculations are based on the typical traffic profile of that stretch of motorway rather than distance and mph.

The travel time is automatically recalculated every five minutes and if an incident causes a delay on the motorway the sign will automatically switch from showing the travel time to displaying the estimated delay time.

Roads minister Toby Harris said: ‘Displaying journey times on our electronic signs gives drivers greater certainty about the time it will take to get them to their destinations. It also helps them to consider options such as changing their route or taking a break if there are traffic delays on the road ahead.’

To find Traffic Radio service users should tune into their DAB radio and press the scan button and look for the Traffic Radio channel. You can also listen to the service direct form the website or by downloading the most recent update directly to your phone or PDA device.