NEW congestion-busting electronic signs aimed at easing traffic gridlock in Worcester will go live in May, it has emerged.

For the next three months transport chiefs are going to lay the grounds for a £250,000 overhaul of the city’s council-run car parks.

Special strips will be installed at sites in St Martin’s Gate, the Cattle Market, Cornmarket, Pitchcroft, Copenhagen Street and King Street which count all vehicles entering and leaving.

Those messages will then be relayed to a series of ‘real time’ electronic message boards placed around the city to alert drivers where the best spaces are.

The measure, first revealed in the Worcester News last September, follows concern many motorists spend too long hunting down spaces, especially on weekends.

The idea has already been launched in nearby Birmingham, where it is credited with easing gridlock at peak times.

The electronic signs will be placed in Upper Tything, Bath Road, Tallow Hill, Tolladine Road, opposite Malvern Tyres in Rainbow Hill, London Road, Tybridge Street and Hylton Road.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader of Worcester City Council and deputy leader at County Hall, said: “This project is all about helping motorists travelling into our city.

“I'm sure everyone at some time has endured the frustration of driving around trying to find a space to park, particularly at busy times or when visiting a place for the first time.

“The new system will make it easy to locate the nearest car park which has spaces which is good for those living, working and visiting Worcester.

“Ensuring the city is 'open for business' is a key priority and this helps as it arms motorists with the information to guide them to the closest available parking - saving time and easing congestion on our city centre roads.”

The move comes after council chiefs in Worcester agreed to slash parking prices to as low as 40p for half-an-hour to entice shoppers in.

All-day parking at St Martin’s Gate is now £3.60, compared to the old price of £6, while drivers pay just £1 after 7pm.