Good signs for motorists

Drivers travelling on the M25 can now see real-time information on how long their journey will take on electronic roadside signs.


Drivers travelling on the M25 can now see real-time information on how long their journey will take on electronic roadside signs as a new service is rolled out across England.



This new service follows a successful trial in the West Midlands and south west which is said to have proven very popular with motorists. Eighty-nine percent of those questioned said that they thought the travel and delay time messages were a good idea.



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. This information will help motorists make more informed decisions about their journeys.



The M25, Europe’s busiest motorway, is the latest area to be covered by the service, which now includes the original trial area in the West Midlands, the M6 up to Carlisle and the M5 down to the south west.



Roads Minister Tom Harris said: ‘We are making best use of our technology to help drivers find out about traffic conditions on their route both before they leave and during their journey.



‘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.’



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



The travel time is automatically recalculated every five minutes and if an incident, such as a collision, causes delays on the motorway above a pre-determined threshold, the sign will automatically switch from showing the travel time message to displaying the estimated delay time. If the sign is needed to display an important safety message, the travel or delay time will be over-written.