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Those readers currently facing the prospect of a long Xmas Eve car journey to see loved ones - or simply to find a pub which does not have Slade's Merry Christmas on the jukebox - might be interested in a jam-busting initiative from Orange and Trafficmaster.

The two companies have teamed up to offer drivers CCTV images of the road ahead, beamed direct to their mobe from a network of live cameras across the UK. Orange's head of 3G, Max Taylor, said: "With millions of vehicles on the roads trying to get home on Christmas Eve and with reports of possible snow showers, traffic flows are going to be extremely congested; we hope the TrafficTV service will help to ease people's journey home to loved ones safely this Christmas."

Bless. Of course, this being a press release we're quoting here, there has to be some good, solid advice attached to enlighten the unwary traveller. In this case, Trafficmaster recommends that you should:

  • If at all possible make your journey home before Christmas Eve
  • Start your journey as early as possible; roads will be clearer in the morning
  • Get the map out and check the possible routes you can take before you leave
  • Check traffic reports before you start your journey and if you have the means during your journey using services like TrafficTV to avoid running into heavy traffic

Terrific. We entirely agree that starting your journey as early as possible will help avoid the Yule stampede. Try August - since that's when Xmas kicks off in Britain now. That way, if you're attempting to navigate the M25 between junctions 18 and 21 you should arrive in good time for New Year's Eve.

We conclude this plug for TrafficTV by noting that the live CCTV footage is available only to 3G users. Those still living in the Stone Age of GPRS can access "traffic reports, stills and video clips". We add the interesting footnote that we have heard it by the way that the technology can - with a bit of tweaking - be used to pinpoint upcoming Gatsos, thereby allowing time-pressed execs to drive with impunity at 120mph between speed cameras. Now that's what we call a real timesaver. Happy Xmas. ®

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