Motorway signs could urge drivers to take the train

Motorway signs could start encouraging drivers to use other methods of transport under plans being considered by the government.

Local transport minister Norman Baker said that the digital overhead signs could tell drivers how long a rail journey along the same route would take in a bid to ease pressure on the motorways.
"On a busy single carriageway road that is normally congested, if you have a sign there saying the railway journey along this parallel corridor is half the time of the road journey people might think of changing to the train," said Baker.

As well as removing cars from the motorwars, the hope is this would reduce the need for environmentally damaging roadworks.

Transport minister Mike Penning was also in the meeting, and said the signs would be a "complete break" with what had gone before and were likely to be opposed by some.

Penning said that the digital motorway signs were not being used to their best at the moment, with information sometimes being displayed on accidents or congestion hundreds of miles away.

The AA was not completely taken with the idea, telling The Telegraph: "Persuading drivers that switching from car to rail or coach by signing along the motorway will be hard work and will be ineffectual if over-optimistic messages lead to disappointment when people try to switch," said Paul Watters, the organisation's spokesman.

"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."
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