highways 150x150 Live UK Traffic App Overtakes Google Earth In iTunes Travel ChartThe latest in a series of free iPhone apps launched by the UK government is topping the Free Travel Apps chart in the iTunes store only days after launch.

The app displays live traffic updates with updates from the Highways Agency’s own digital radio station and has been downloaded by over 50,000 iPhone owners since its mid-February launch.

The free download takes data from the Agency’s National Traffic Control Centre to provide live updates of traffic flow on England’s motorways and major A roads – helping road users plan their journeys and avoid congestion hotspots and now sits ahead of Google Earth and Tube Map in the Free Travel Apps chart.

The iPhone app complements the general mobile website launched by the agency during 2009 which has already proved to be one of the most popular methods for accessing live travel data.

“By making our information freely available we are making it easier for people to plan their journeys,” says Highways Agency director of traffic management Simon Sheldon-Wilson.  “A few moments checking the route ahead before people set off can help us all cut congestion, save fuel and reduce carbon emissions.”

Sheldon-Wilson goes on to add, “We are clear you should never use a mobile phone while driving, but we also encourage drivers to take frequent breaks and that is an ideal time to check the road ahead.”

Apps which can provide real-time assistance to drivers are growing increasingly popular.  Nosey Parker reviewed by The Next Web and launched last week to help UK drivers find the nearest, safest parking spot, currently sits on top of the Paid Apps Navigation chart in the iTunes store and at number 24 in the overall Paid Apps Chart.