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Weather reports

A simple innovation could soon help motorists avoid the kind of gridlock that followed last winter's big freeze.

The Highways Agency is locked in talks with manufacturers in the hop of developing a service that will alert drivers in advance of snow, ice and stormy weather conditions.

They hope to use the popularity of satnav systems to get information to drivers quickly and efficiently. The intiative would see the same information that is currently available on overhead gantries steramed into the car itself via the satnav.

If all goes according to plan, it could be in place by Christmas next year. A lot of satnavs already provide drivers with traffic updates, and this would be extension of the information that is fed to motorists via twitter and by text, but more easily accesible from behind the wheel.

'It would be a method of getting information through to drivers,” said AA president Edmund King.

'But the problem is most satnav systems are purely routefinders, so for the majority of drivers it would not be so useful.'

The Highways Agency, responsible for running UK motorways and trunk roads, believe that gridlock could be avoided if drivers had accuarate and up to date information about the weather.

The popularity of satnavs has soared in recent years, with more than 60 percent of motorists estimated to be using the technology.

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