§ Mr. Macfarlane
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied with the procedures for alerting and forewarning drivers on motorways by the broadcasting authorities following accidents; and what is the cost to his Department of this service.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
We cannot compel radio stations or other media to broadcast traffic news. We do seek to persuade them that regular traffic bulletins and up-to-date traffic reports are of great value to their listeners. We also encourage them to liaise closely with the police who are usually the first source of information about accidents and their effects on traffic.
The Department of Transport presently contributes towards the operating costs of the BBC's motoring and travel unit which co-ordinates travel information broadcast on national networks and local programmes. The cost to the Department in the current year is £78,000.
We are constantly seeking to encourage an improved flow of traffic information to BBC and ILR radio stations, much of which is provided by the AA. Recent improvements in the AA's roadwatch unit should help to improve the quality and immediacy of that information.
§ Mr. Latham
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates of hourly traffic flow at peak periods were made by his Department when preparing for the direct link between the M1 and M25 motorways; what has been the actual outturn; and to what extent his traffic forecasts assume uninterrupted traffic flow at normal motorway speeds during peak periods.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
[pursuant to the reply, 4 December 1986, c. 724]: The traffic predictions were based on 16-hour annual average weekday flows; from which peak hour flows were derived. The forecasts, made in 1979 for the design year 1998, were:
Peak-hourly flow in both directions (vehicles) M25 (west of M1) to and from M1 2,700 to 3,900 M25 (east of M1) to and from M1 1,900 to 2,800
Traffic counters on the connecting roads between the M1 and M25 will be fully in operation early in 1987. The connecting roads were designed to provide the capacity for the predicted peak hourly traffic flows assuming a design speed of 80 kph (50 mph) and normal motorway operating conditions.