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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Plan your journey

Directgov's Journey Planner offers a full range of information and route planning services for every journey. The Highways Agency offers live traffic updates, feeds and alerts, and information on weather conditions and planned roadworks on England's motorways and trunk roads. Get the information you need before you set off.

Journey Planner

Directgov's Journey Planner includes up-to-the-minute traffic information and a CO2 calculator. It can help you find car parks, plan a day trip or compare journeys by car and public transport.  

Check the latest traffic conditions

You can get live traffic information online by following the Highways Agency link below. You can choose from a map-based layout or view information by individual motorway.

The website shows:

  • average speeds (from sensors in the road surface)
  • the messages motorway electronic message signs are displaying
  • live incidents
  • future events and planned roadworks
  • weather conditions
  • live images from CCTV cameras

You can customise the information you receive so it refers to your region or a specific motorway, for example.

You can also subscribe to email alerts or RSS feeds for the latest information for a region or road.

You can also use this service on web-compatible mobiles. The mobile version uses a simple text-based format to speed up download times.

Using an iPhone app

The Highways Agency iPhone app can give you live traffic updates based on your current location.

By phone

The Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 has advisers available 24 hours a day. They can update you on traffic conditions or incidents. You can also call to report an issue such as debris on the motorway.

Traffic England's automated phone service on 08700 660 115 provides real-time traffic information. It operates with both keypad and voice-activated commands and gives details of:

  • traffic information by road, region, date or time
  • future events affecting traffic

TV text services

 All the main TV text services carry traffic information. Try:

  • Ceefax
  • BBCi
  • Teletext

Check the weather forecast

You can check for severe weather warnings likely to affect England's road network on the Highways Agency website homepage.

Flood warning information is shown on the Environment Agency's website.

For general forecasts you can use the Met Office website.

The weather can seriously affect your journey time - you may have to take another route, leave earlier or sometimes not travel at all. For tips on driving in bad weather see 'Safety in extreme weather'.

And remember

To plan a safe journey:

  • allow a 15-minute break for every two hours of driving
  • check your vehicle is roadworthy and has a spare tyre in good condition
  • take emergency items for very hot or very cold weather (eg water, warm clothes, hot drink)
  • check you have enough fuel before you set off
  • don't start a long trip if you are already tired

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