English motorists with DAB digital radios in their cars can now catch up with the latest travel information 24 hours a day.
Traffic Radio provides drivers with traffic conditions on motorways and major A roads, as well as information about emergency incidents and road works.
At busy times the service is updated every 10 minutes and can also be accessed via the internet.
It offers regional traffic news, depending on which part of the country you are listening in, as well as national headlines.
The information will come from 3,750 road sensors and 1,000 CCTV cameras as well as from reports from traffic officers, Highways Agency regional control centres, the police and local highway authorities.
Initially, around 80 per cent of the English population will be able to pick up the digital radio service and it will become more widely available over the next two years.
Transport Minister Tom Harris said: ‘Traffic Radio will provide helpful information to enable people to make choices about their journey, whether they’re driving for work, visiting relatives or going on holiday. The radio format allows people to check traffic conditions easily before they leave the house or office.
‘Those with DAB radios in their cars will also be able to make informed decisions about alternative routes, should conditions change when they are en route. And people with mobile internet access will be able to check the latest conditions when they take a break from their journeys.’
To tune in to the DAB service, press the ‘scan’ button on your radio. The radio will tune into all available channels and you can select the new service by scrolling through the channels until you reach Traffic Radio.
Which? Motoring Editor Richard Headland said: ‘Traffic Radio would seem to be the next step on from the RDS traffic announcements most of us can already receive.
‘However, its full potential won’t be realised until more cars are fitted with DAB radios – precious few are at present.’
The Highways Agency is also rolling out other services this year including displaying real-time journey and delay times on electronic roadside signs and making CCTV images available to the public via its website.