Real-time traffic information boost for drivers

12.00 | 9 August 2012 |

The Highways Agency is trialling a system which it says will dramatically improve real-time traffic information available to drivers.

The new technology will add commercially available traffic data to the Highway Agency’s existing sources to monitor how well traffic is flowing on England’s motorways and strategic roads. Similar data sources are already used by satellite navigation devices, smartphones and applications like Google maps.

Better real-time data will allow Highways Agency staff to respond more quickly to incidents and identify delays and then communicate them to drivers so they can take alternative routes if necessary.

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Highways Agency traffic management director, said: “We are committed to reducing congestion and improving journey time reliability on the strategic road network. These new sources of data will strengthen the information we receive about traffic conditions.

“At the moment control rooms collect information from cameras and a vast number of sensors built into the road surface. But if an incident happens out of camera shot or if the traffic does not queue back to one of the sensor locations, we don’t have a full picture of the problem and there can be delays responding.

“This new approach would allow us to work with GPS data which will give us the most accurate and comprehensive data set to manage traffic flow and clear up incidents as quickly as possible.”

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