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iPhone app FAQ

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iPhone app Frequently Asked Questions

How do I download the Highways Agency app?
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you can now take advantage of our free travel news app. The app allows you to check how the traffic is flowing on motorways and major A roads in England before you begin your journey.

You can download the free app by going to the iTunes App Store or by searching for "Highways Agency".

The travel information covers unplanned incidents such as accidents and congestion, plus lane closures and other restrictions due to improvement works and access to our regional Traffic Radio audio feed.

How does the app work?
Our travel news app collects traffic information from our motorways and major A-roads using sensors and readers such as inductive loops and ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras. This data is collated and compiled by the Highways Agency's National Traffic Control Centre and presented via our online information services. The information is continually updated and provides an accurate picture of the current situation on the roads

You can also listen to the Highways Agency's own traffic radio station which broadcasts round the clock.

Why doesn't the app cover all roads in England?
The Highways Agency is responsible for the maintenance and stewardship of motorways and trunk roads in England outside of London. Any roads in Britain not maintained by us are managed by local authorities.

We do not maintain roads within Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or London. A list of local authorities and links to their websites is available on Directgov. Find out more about the Highways Agency road network.

Is there an app that covers all roads in the UK?
There is a free app available from Directgov which provides information regarding road conditions on local authority roads and major issues on the Highways Agency network. You can search for it in the App Store by typing in "Directgov".

Why is there sometimes a delay regarding information on incidents?
When an unplanned incident occurs there can be a short delay before information will appear on our online services. This is so we can collate information regarding the incident and its immediate impact as well as assess the likely impact of the incident and its probable duration.  We do not wish to encourage road users to take long and circuitous routes around incidents which will have a relatively limited impact on road users' journeys.

The regions are confusing compared to commonly accepted areas. Why is this?
The regions within the app are defined by the Traffic Radio regions we use. The regions are rather large but where possible we do try and supply traffic information relative to where you are or where you are heading to. The regions are quite large because they correspond to the areas covered by our Regional Control Centres who monitor and supply the data for the individual areas.

The app is auto-focusing on the incorrect region. Why does this happen?
As the regions are so large there are instances where the GPS set region may not be correct. In later versions, we hope to base the location on your exact geographical location rather than by a region.

You can manually select a different region when you have selected which function you require. From the main screen select either "Current incidents" or "Planned Roadworks" and then choose the "Select a Region" option.

Why doesn't the App auto-focus on regions when used on the iTouch?
The application has been developed primarily for use on the iPhone and is designed to work in conjunction with its internal GPS module to identify which region you are in.

Whilst recent models of the iPod Touch have a GPS module in-built which will allow the app to work correctly, some older versions of the iTouch do not have this function. As such the application requires you to manually select the region each time you start the application as the handset is unable to determine your current location.

Are there any plans for future versions of the app?
We will be continuing to invest in and improve the app over the coming months and later versions will include viewing traffic incidents on Google maps. Other potential features may include speed information and current variable message signs. If a particular feature is frequently requested we will investigate the feasibility of updating the app to include it.

Will there be an app for other Smartphones?
All of our traffic information services are accessible to Smartphone users through our mobile site providing the phone is internet enabled.

The mobile site www.highways.gov.uk/mobile provides a service to internet enabled mobile handsets and Smartphones. The decision to develop a bespoke application for the iPhone was based upon the audience and mobile research we undertook in 2009. Other apps may be developed in the future but this will depend on demand and market trends.

Feedback
You can report any issues to us via the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 or via email to ha_info@highways.gsi.gov.uk

  • Available 24/7
  • Calls from landlines to 0300 numbers can cost up to 8p per minute but are free from some landline providers; mobiles usually cost more. Please check costs with your service provider.
  • Calls may be recorded or monitored
  • Do not use a mobile phone whilst driving
  • You can also contact us via Typetalk