City invests in screens to keep traffic moving

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A WEST Yorkshire council is preparing to spend £400,000 on hi-tech roadside signs that will keep motorists up to speed with the latest traffic information.

A total of 11 electronic display boards giving details about disruption caused by accidents and other events have been operating in Leeds since summer 2011.

Now Leeds City Council has decided to expand the information system with the purchase of an additional 10 signs.

They will be 60 per cent larger than the existing display boards and are officially known as Variable Message Signs (VMS).

A number of the new devices will be pressed into action on routes on the outskirts of Leeds, such as the A63 Selby Road, A64 York Road, A61 Harrogate Road, A660 Otley Road and the A647 near Pudsey. Local authority chiefs say their installation will help to keep the city on the move during high-profile occasions such as the opening of next year’s Tour De France cycle race.

A council report on the purchase decision says: “The Tour de France Grand Depart is a good example of a major event which will have significant implications for traffic in Leeds over a number of days.

“The proposed VMS signs would play a very significant role for this and future events and incidents in ensuring that the travelling public know how the road network will be affected and at what times.”

The report says installation of the new signs should start in October, with the project scheduled for completion next March.

It also says that the existing boards showed their worth by keeping drivers informed about disruption caused by recent improvement work on the Leeds Inner Ring Road.

Those signs, most of which are in the city centre, will remain in service following the additions to the system.

Hundreds of thousands of cycling enthusiasts are expected to attend the opening two stages of next year’s Tour de France, which are taking place in Yorkshire on July 5 and 6.