Misleading motorway signs - Roger Jones
A week ago I used the M4 to travel from Herts to Glos. I passed through a storm on the way there. On the way back, with the storm gone by at least an hour, the speed signs were still showing 50 and at least one matrix sign warned of non-existent spray.

Yesterday I did the same trip, aiming to take the A419 from junction 15. I encountered three matrix signs warning me that the A419 was closed at the junction with the B4040. I wondered if I should go further west and take the A46 up to Stroud, but I decided not to believe the signs. Sure enough, the A419 wasn't closed and there were no signs of an incident or major roadwaorks.

It's not good enough, is it? Every time a misleading sign is encountered, the credibility of the system is eroded. Am I alone in thinking that this is an issue a great deal more serious than an occasional source of irritation. Having spoken to someone who works for a company that installs the information systems involved, my impression is that it's down to operational slackness or negligence. Does anyone have any detailed insight into this?

Or, do you think there may have been good reasons for the apparently misleading information?
Misleading motorway signs - Honestjohn
The problem is that no one in government really cares enough about this to stick their neck out and ensure that the system runs properly. I'd guess that Dr Stephen Ladyman would like to, but gets brickwalled by the car haters who regard the Highways Agency as a jobs creation scheme rather than something that is supposed to make the country run more efficiently. No other country in the world would have closed a road like the A3 for a day and clogged up half a county to investigate the death of a cyclist.

Misleading motorway signs - BB
What i have found on my regular jaunts up and down the M1, M6, M42 and the like is that, yes, they do tend to leave the matrix signs on when there is obviously no problem. However, sometimes I think that they leave the warning signs on purpose to try and get other folk to go a different way so as to try and clear the area of traffic prior/post accident / roadworks.

This was evident on the M1 southbound a few months back when it stated there were severe delays exiting the M1 for Leicester at J21 due to radworks and all Leicester traffic should head into Leicester from J22.

Of course, J21 was near empty for all days the sign was up..................

Personally, I would prefer to be told the truth.
Misleading motorway signs - Armitage Shanks {p}
SFAIK some central control has been set up to run all gantry signs on all roads. I can't think that this will be an improvement on the present lamentable system. Junction 21 on the M1 has been problematical recently but it depends on time and day. At one time the main carriagway (3 lanes) and the Northbound entry slip road (2 lanes) were filtering into 1 lane. Bad tempered nightmare!
Misleading motorway signs - MoodyGit
I saw a real gem a few years ago.

I was driving an artic South on the M6 in the middle of the night and there was a series of central reservation matrix signs alternately saying outside lane closed and 50mph limit. There was no sign of any reason for the lane closure.
Eventually there was an 'END' sign at which point many cars speeded up and moved to the outside lane.

What happens next? Yup! Within a few hundred yard the lane was coned off forcing traffic to brake hard and move back into the middle lane.

Being a nice chap, I stopped at the next emergency phone and told the police about the problem.... :-)
Misleading motorway signs - Thommo
Having spent two hours in a queue in the outside lane of the M40 one hot Sunday afternoon as we all dutifully moved over as the gantry signs said the two inside lanes were closed ahead for 4 miles only to find an End sign with absolutely no obstruction in sight I now just ignore them.

So thats another few million down the drain then.
Misleading motorway signs - Altea Ego
Its a disgrace. Shed loads of money is being spent on a comprehensive and potentially very usefull network of information. Its all being thrown down the drain by disgraceful operation, making the information useless, unreliable and a joke.

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Misleading motorway signs - Hamsafar
Each of the larger overhead signs cost well into 6 figures when you divide the total cost of the project by the number of signs. What nonsense is this?
I read them and think, "I'll believe it when I see it" - just use them as info (like the weather forecast) rather than definitive instructions.
Misleading motorway signs - Lud
all being thrown down the drain by disgraceful operation, making the
information useless, unreliable and a joke.

That's because the system is 'managed' instead of being run. Like the health system and the education system and the railway system.

A few underpaid people who know how to do it constantly harassed by large numbers of besuited ponces who can't do anything, but have to make everyone's life a misery to justify their own existence. Came from America in Mrs Thatcher's day. Designed to bring everything under market control (i.e. make everything fair game for amoral financial hustlers).

Vive la revolution, not.
Misleading motorway signs - JH
"A few underpaid people who know how to do it constantly harassed by large numbers of besuited ponces "

That sounds familiar. Don't forget the pathetic letters after their names which means they've paid a joining fee. Bunch of power mad control freaks.

Misleading motorway signs - The Gingerous One
Yep I ignore all the signs as well, including lane closures and speed limits until I can actually see a real issue ahead of me.

speed limits are OK to ignore as they're not legally enforcable unless surrounded by a red circle
Misleading motorway signs - Dalglish
misleading motorway signs

so what chance that these new ones will give out even more misleading info:


"Motorways chosen for message trial
M5 and M6 get real-time journey info

Drivers on parts of the M5 and M6 will be the first to receive real time information on the expected lengths of their journeys

The Highways Agency released details of the trial, which ...... ..... "

more signs to ignore then.

Misleading motorway signs - dsuk
My favorite one is the sign that tells you on the M6 that the toll road is clear and junctions 12-8 are congested, i.e. go on the toll road that will be £3.50 please.
I have made this journey 100 times or more and before the current roadworks never have a problem on the normal M6 between these points in the off peak times I travelled, but the sugn still said congestion etc.
Maybe its run by the people who built the toll road?
Misleading motorway signs - Lud
Or not, but nudge nudge wink wink say no more squire, knowImean?
Misleading motorway signs - wotspur
Driving from Coventry a few weeks ago to Bristol and was surprised to see a sign ont he M5 at the A419 junction GUESSTIMATING time from there to M4 at Swindon, I'm sure it said 35mins, which not having done all that journey for quite a while seemed wildly optomistic, especially with the construction taking place at Swindon.
How acurate is it??
I also ignore most motorway signs, but always take advice from traffic reports.

Ask Honest John

Value my car