Network Operations arrow 2 Delivery arrow 2.1 Traffic Information
2.1 Traffic Information Print

Traffic information concerns the conditions of (road) network use, and can include predictive and current information on traffic conditions. It is not necessarily aimed at modifying traffic flows (selection of travel time, route or mode of transport) - but when used for this purpose it must be closely coordinated with traffic management measures.

Accurate, integrated and comprehensive travel and traffic information helps travellers in their journey planning decisions and how to respond to disturbances that occur on the way. In this respect it supports the task of the road network operators as well.

To fulfil the needs and expectations of all players involved, the information should be timely and disseminated via all available channels and communication modes. They can be channels operated directly by the control centres (variable message signs, website, RDS-TMC, traffic news broadcast etc.) or by added-value service providers who transform the information into the required data formats, and/or operate additional dissemination channels themselves.

Traffic information - and by extension route advice - is considered to be a basic service. It constitutes the lowest level of traffic management. Road users are free to decide for themselves if and how to react to the information or advice. Stronger forms of direction include hazard messages or incident warning, and eventually control measures such as notice of road obstructions, lane control, or speed control.

Provision of client-specific, personalized (enriched) information is often let to independent, value-added service providers, who extend and build on the information stream made available by the road operator. However, there should be an agreed framework for safety-related advice and direction in the absence of specific instructions from the traffic centre, in order to avoid confusion or the undermining of the set traffic policy. 

Information requirements are set by network operations stakeholders, transport operators, emergency services or assistance providers and road users themselves – the latter possibly clustered in Motoring Clubs and Road User Organisations. As might be expected, there can be some variety in the geographical extent and the level of detail of the information these players need in support of their activities, or to really fulfil their travel needs.

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Briefing Note “User Needs and Traveller Information in Network Operations”