A new 3m electronic traffic sign system that tell drivers how long it will take them to get to their destination was unveiled yesterday.

The six signs on the M1 Dublin to Belfast road show drivers how long it will take them to get to upcoming major junctions.

The new €3m system takes photographs of cars going past various cameras and then calculates averages of how long the journey takes.

A joint project by the National Roads Authority and Northern Ireland Roads Service, four of the signs are on southbound lanes while two are on the northbound corridor.

David Laoide-Kemp, Intelligent Transportation System project manager of the NRA, said the system could not be used to recognise speeding motorists and was purely for informational purposes.

“This system is not used for enforcement. The data is encrypted so we can’t identify vehicles,” he said.

“People like to be informed and make informed choices. It is like catching a train. If there are delays, usually they come up and tell you. You could say this is the equivalent of that.”

The signs are located north of Dundalk, south of Drumleck, north of Drogheda, and north of Balbriggan, Skerries and Dublin Airport.

The average travel times are calculated and displayed every five minutes.

It is envisaged that accident information will also appear on the screens in the future.