Families heading off for an Easter break will find it even easier to plan their journey with improvements to the Highways Agency website just in time for the holiday getaway.
A new service has been launched that allows live traffic information to be accessed via a mobile phone and other portable devices, as well as from the standard website.
The website, which provides constant live updates from the Agency’s National Traffic Control Centre, proved a real hit with road-users during February’s period of severe weather. More than a million visitors were able to check the state of the roads and plan their journey accordingly. The Highways Agency has now upgraded its website in time for Easter to provide for increased demand on its services at peak holiday times.
Which? has expert reviews of the latest mobile phones and best sat navs to ensure you can plan your route and stay in touch while on the move. There’s also advice on what to do if you have a car accident.
Easter getaway traffic predicted to have peaked on Maundy Thursday
Historic data collected by the Agency over the past five years shows the Easter getaway was expected to be well underway by lunchtime on Maundy Thursday. By 2pm England’s motorways and major trunk roads were predicted to be 45% busier than a typical Thursday. By 10pm there could be as many as 70,000 extra vehicles on the road, an increase of more than 80%.
Denise Plumpton, Highways Agency director of information, says: ‘Planning your journey to avoid any congestion hotspots can take the stress out of the first day of the holiday so that everyone arrives at their destination happy and ready to enjoy themselves.’
When drivers stop for a break as they head for their holiday destination keying http://www.highways.gov.uk/mobile on their mobile will allow them to check that the road is clear ahead. For those without a laptop or PC at the hotel, cottage, tent or caravan, they can now check for updates before heading for home too.
Highways Agency website has live traffic speed and accident updates
The Highways Agency main website provides live updates, gives details of any unplanned incidents and shows where the motorways and major trunk roads are flowing freely.
This site has also been enhanced ahead of the holiday period to provide even easier navigation and extra information including live traffic speed data, what the overhead motorway signs are saying and even the view from thousands of CCTV cameras.
The mobile version of the Highways Agency website provides easy access to live traffic information that is presented in a simple text based format specially designed for smaller screens that will deliver faster download speeds. It includes latest incident reports searchable by region and motorway.
Denise Plumpton adds: ‘Our publicity and frequent messages on the site itself make it absolutely clear you should never use a mobile phone while driving, but we also encourage drivers to take frequent breaks and that is an ideal time to check the road ahead.
‘This is the latest addition to a suite of service to provide road users with the information they need to make informed choices about their journey – they include Traffic Radio which broadcasts live from our National Traffic Control Centre on DAB digital radio’
© Press Association
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