Highways England Information Point
Traffic information being provided at Birch.
Following a trial at Hopwood Park, the Highways Agency installed traffic information points at most Welcome Break services. They display information from the Traffic England website on a touch-screen board.
In late 2009 large screens were installed at all Roadchef services, but these were not interactive. Since then this appears to have been scaled down - most services, Costa outlets and airports have traffic information points displaying information on local incidents, travel times to important interchanges and alternating between traffic cameras, but these are not interactive.
Now the Highways Agency is known as Highways England, this style of information is still provided, as well as information boards where appropriate.
The idea of providing traffic information at service areas certainly isn't new.
In August 1987, the Department for Transport set up TV screens at Scratchwood, Newport Pagnell northbound, Rothersthorpe and Watford Gap. These screens were set to BBC2, CEEFAX page 799, which provided traffic information from the BBC Motoring Unit. An additional monitor at Toddington was a more complicated set up which displayed advertisements.
The CEEFAX channel showed a rudimentary map of the M1, highlighting any disruption along the way. The trial was well received by motorists but not rolled out in this form. On request, local weather information was added too.
The monitors were usually placed in the restaurants, as managers feared a crowd would form if they were in the lobby.