Traffic delays are the bane of the modern motorist's life. It hardly seems to matter where your journey takes you, hold ups slow your progress and ruin your trip. Add to this the fact that UK roads are becoming more congested and the future looks bleak. There are some ways to avoid this, though; here are a few of them.
Things you can do before you leave
It may seem obvious but, If you're setting out on a long journey, take some time to check your route first. The Highways agency (Highways.gov.uk) have an excellent website with a vast pool of useful information. In addition, to their live traffic updates service which gives a snapshot of traffic conditions moment by moment, they also have a traffic forecaster. This gives predicted traffic flow selectable by time, date and part of the country. In addition to this, you can locate speed cameras along your route and there is a section dealing with scheduled roadworks and closure events over the coming months. Another useful link from this site is the digital and online Traffic radio service. Other sites worth checking are those of the AA and RAC motoring organisations. By inputting your destination into their route-finders, you can see expected delays due to road works along the way. Use their software to work out an alternative route and you can save yourself hours of travelling.
On the move
One of the simplest tools for monitoring road news whilst on the move is your RDS capable car stereo. Make sure the Traffic Information (TI) function is active and you will have live updates for all UK travel routes as they are broadcast by the radio stations. It doesn't matter if these are from a station that you aren't tuned into as the system will over-ride this to ensure you hear the local bulletins.
By far, the easiest method of avoiding both roadworks and those M1 motorway accidents that cause massive tailbacks is to use a sat-nav with a live traffic re-routing function. This will flag any hold ups on your route as they happen and give you the option to go around them.
Finally, if you are driving on the motorways and making use of the services, take the time to examine the Traffic-Master live video displays that most of them now have. These will give you an
easy-to-understand graphic representation of the situation in the local area and is a handy tool to check while passing.