In August 1987 the Department of Transport began a short term trial which involved installing television monitors at four service areas on the M1 motorway. These monitors provided CEEFAX (Teletext) information from the BBC Motoring Unit about current road conditions. A survey of 1250 motorists assessed driver reaction to the provision of these monitors, and also to a similar, though more limited, service with advertisements at another service area, Toddington. The survey found that just under half (41 per cent) of the motorists interviewed had noticed the CEEFAX monitors. Significantly more (51 per cent) remembered seeing the monitors at Toddington. Approximately a third of those drivers who had noticed the monitors said they had used or would use the information provided. Of these, just over half said they would make or had made a diversion to avoid a hold-up reported on the screens. Driver reaction to the monitors was encouraging with over 90 per cent of those interviewed saying they thought their provision was a good idea. The survey showed that most drivers listened to the radio for travel information. However, the provision of the monitors at service areas appears a useful supplementary source of information giving drivers a reminder of the location of roadworks which may cause delays in the course of their journey. (A)

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