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Bad Weather Gridlocks A Thing of the Past

Article by: rob brady
Date: 14 Sep 2011

Last month it was reported that The Highways Agency, the government body responsible for the UK's major roads, reached an agreement with TomTom to feed its traffic information into TomTom's High Definition Traffic Services.

Following this, The Telegraph now reports that The Agency also aims to roll out live government data to a lot more of our satnavs by Christmas 2012. Details of the further initiative were disclosed by the Government in its response to the Transport Select Committee.

The intention is to relay the same weather information simultaneously displayed on overhead gantries straight to our satnavs.

We all know how many drivers ignore the icy conditions, heavy winds and fog warning signs - do we really think that an extra warning on their satnav will slow them down?

Well actually, perhaps. It's arguable that a warning from a satnav will be heeded more that a gantry sign, after all we know how conditioned some people are to following satnav instructions to the letter. Additionally, you would think that the more warnings received, the better.

The idea behind the project is to avoid the traditional standstills on our roads whenever particularly severe weather hits.

The Highways Agency responsibility only covers motorways and major trunk roads - will anyone in government now take the initiative to force local authorities (who handle the smaller roads) to efficiently monitor and nationally share their main roads' local traffic data?

This would of course be years away from happening. In the meantime, I suppose we'll just have to rely on the likes of Trafficmaster.

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Posted by lawtonca on Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:21 am Reply with quote

The gantry signs normally get ignored because 99% of the time we see a warning on them the warning is no longer valid.
How many times have we driven down a motorway with 'Queue after next junction' or 'debris in carriageway' or similar on a sign and then sailed on. I know I've driven on the M25 at 4am with 20mph signs warning of long delays and seen next to nobody for the next 30 miles.

Is this a way to stop people following their satnav's as closely as they do now? Or are we going to get some valid info rather than the rubbish we get on gantry signs?

Posted by willton on Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:13 pm Reply with quote

yes its the integrity of the data supplied which is critical. but from a government department .... ?

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