Signs will advise motorists to ‘let the train take the strain’

14.08 | 15 June 2011 | | 1 comment

The Government is considering introducing roadside signs urging motorists to take the train, instead of driving (Telegraph).

The initiative, part of the biggest overhaul of traffic signs in 40 years, was unveiled by Mike Penning, road safety minister, and Norman Baker, transport minister.

The new ‘smart’ digital signs will provide motorists with a comparison of journey times to town centres by rail and car. They will also advise on alternative routes off the motorway which could prove quicker, reveals the Telegraph.

The smart signs are among a series of initiatives being adopted by the Government to improve traffic flow on motorways. Work on the smart signs began under the Labour Government as a way of promoting the low carbon economy. The Coalition sees the initiative as giving motorists better information, but leaving them to make the final decision.

Mr Penning told MPs that the DfT is also looking to cut delays after road collisions. He described the current delays as unacceptable to the transport network and the country’s economy.

Paul Watters, the AA’s spokesman, said: “Persuading drivers that switching from car to rail or coach by signing along the motorway will be hard work and ineffectual if over-optimistic messages lead to disappointment when people try to switch.

“We welcome improved modal interchange opportunities but signage alone will not do the trick: there needs to be excellent park-and-ride facilities and high quality frequent services to attract and retain driver support. There should also be some car-sharing parking opportunities at key motorway service areas."

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “More and people are recognising that instead of being stuck in a traffic jam you can work productively or just relax and let the train take the strain. Network Rail welcomes this initiative to convince people to take the rail alternative."

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.


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    When an off-peak return ticket to Carlisle from Kent costs almost £450 and over £1200 during peak hours for four people, I would always prefer to drive and spend £35 each way on diesel, even if it takes me an hour or two longer to get there [including breaks of course]. When taking into consideration the destinations around the world that we could fly to for the same price as the rail fares, surely rail shows itself up as being a very expensive and economically poor alternative.

    Andy, Medway
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