BusinessCar Office Blog: 31 July - Sign of the times?
31 July 2009
BusinessCar office yesterday
New technology is great when it works, but bloomin' useless when it kind-of-sometimes-maybe works.
Take these matrix signs on motorways, warning about traffic delays ahead. They're so wildly inaccurate that I've stopped believing anything they say. Which will be fine until the one occasion they're right.
Take two occasions recently. The first one was when I landed back at Heathrow on a Friday night after a very long day, straight in to a traffic jam. When it had cleared at about junction 10, the signs switched to flagging up long delays between J4-2 of the M25, which is exactly where I was heading. I spent the next few junctions planning alternative routes, only to find four almost deserted lanes when I got round to that bit of the motorway, which was pleasing in itself, but made me wonder who was controlling the signs.
A thought enhanced a week later when signs on the M20 again warned of long delays between J4-2 of the M25. As we got nearer, we gambled that they'd actually be accurate this time and instead of joining the M25, ducked under it at junction 3 to take a more convoluted route into south east London. And passed under a free-flowing motorway. Thanks Highways Agency, top work there.
I've got a radical suggestions, how about those little signs flag up actual traffic problems, and you turn them off when there aren't any. Go on, try it. Just give it a go. And if that's too difficult, maybe develop the technology properly before subjecting us poor motorists to lies!