41. Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that systems of remotely-controlled illuminated warning signs are in operation on some United States and continental motorways; and if he will indicate the nature of the design problems which have delayed the anticipated date for the introduction of the experimental scheme on the M.5 for 18 months beyond the original estimated time of installation.
§ Mr. Marples
I am aware of systems abroad which depend on the use of neon tubular signs or mechanical indicators. One of our main problems has been to devise an illuminated sign equally legible by drivers travelling at motorway speeds in all daylight conditions and by night, and also equally illegible when not switched on. I think we have now found a better answer to that problem than neon tubes. With mechanical indicators there would be too great a risk of breakdown in view of the size of the signs and their location at exposed sites remote from the control point.
As I have said before, I am anxious to start this experimental scheme as soon as possible. I have recently placed an order for a full-sized prototype sign and I hope to invite tenders for the control equipment shortly.