Fibre-optic cables to beam live traffic news to cars on smart motorways of the future

The development is the latest step in upgrading Britain’s major roads into “smart” motorways CREDIT: DAVE THOMPSON/PA
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Fibre-optic cables running along the centre of Britain’s busiest motorways will be able to beam live traffic updates into high tech cars under new proposals by Highways England.

Messages will be transmitted onto dashboards in a move to improve the efficiency of how major routes operate, with the intention of also improving road safety.

So-called “connected vehicles” will also be programmed to spot potholes, and transmit the information to road operators, it is hoped.

The development is the latest step in upgrading Britain’s major roads into “smart” motorways. The way messages are displayed is another step away from using traditional road signs.

The report, released today by Highways England, will be used to inform the government’s next road investment strategy which is due to start in 2020.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This government is making people’s journeys better, faster and safer to give people better access to jobs, schools and their community.

“We are planning to spend more than ever before to upgrade England’s motorways and major A roads from 2020 through to 2025.”

Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan, said: “We are delivering a record £15 billion of government investment to give people safe, efficient and reliable journeys, and provide businesses with the links they need to prosper and grow.

“Because people’s journeys are important to us we are setting out our high level aspirations which will help ensure the network continues to drive economic growth, jobs and prosperity, and keeps traffic moving today, and into the future.

“We encourage people to read our report and feedback through the Department for Transport’s consultation, which is also launched today.”

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