THE FIRST UK trial of a scheme to ration peak time access to motorways starts next Thursday.
Drivers passing through the M3/M27 junction will be faced with control lights designed to limit congestion by filtering traffic between the routes.
The ramp metering trials will be the first evidence from the Highways Agency of a raft of new technology promised in the 10 Year Transport Plan. By 2004 ramp metering is planned for 30% of all motorways.
Over the next few years new roadside variable message signs linked to a new national traffic control centre will come on stream. The signs will give drivers advice on which routes to take when others are congested.
There will also be increased use of lane control systems to limit speeds, increase flow and give priority to different types of traffic in different lanes.
Other plans from the Government designed to aid integrated transport include smart through ticketing trials, the Transport Line telephone service offering journey advice and Travel Direct, an internet based one stop service giving real time information and through - ticketing for all journeys. Better information for bus passengers is also on the agenda.