M6 multilingual road signs target foreign drivers

Road sign Image copyright Highways England
Image caption The portable signs display "tailored messaging"

Information signs are being displayed in different languages on an approach to the M6 in Cumbria to help lorry drivers from overseas.

The portable electronic messages have been placed along the A66 and A69 to near Carlisle to warn of overnight junction closures.

An automatic number plate reader identifies the vehicle's origin, so the appropriate language can be flashed up.

It is thought to be the first time such signs have been used in the UK.

The languages used are Spanish, German, French, Polish, Romanian, Dutch, Lithuanian, Slovak and Hungarian.

Steve Mason, from Highways England, said: "We carried out major improvements along the A66 near Penrith last year and while the communications and diversion routes worked well, we had some feedback from Cumbria Police that foreign lorry drivers were missing some of the messaging.

"This not only inconvenienced the drivers but also local communities as we had lorries on inappropriate diversion routes.

"We've taken that learning on board and hopefully providing tailored messaging for foreign lorry drivers will improve everyone's experience of these roadworks."

Image caption The information flashes up in one of nine languages

Insp Steve Minnikin of Cumbria Police said: "We all believe this will assist the lorry drivers from other countries in rescheduling their journeys and avoid driving into a road closure with all the inconvenience that it can cause."

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