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Real-time traffic updates to be displayed on buses


Dublin Bus take note – London buses are to be used as mobile information boards to keep drivers informed about real-time traffic conditions thanks to a Transport for London (TfL) innovation.

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Digital boards displaying live traffic information are being fitted to a number of buses on Route 344, between Clapham Junction and Liverpool Street Station.

The boards will provide London’s drivers with a new source of information to help avoid congestion, improve their journeys, choose routes and improve the reliability and efficiency of the roads.

The buses have been fitted with the boards by Equitech IT Solutions, which use GPS technology to monitor and display accurate and up-to-date traffic information. The information is taken from the TfL Variable Message Sign network, which is fed by TfL’s 24-hour traffic control centre. If successful, the trial could be expanded across London.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said, “This innovative use of one of the Capital’s most iconic features – the London bus – will help all road users. We’re focused on keeping London moving and on giving drivers real-time information through a range of channels to help them avoid congested roads and reduce wasted time and needless pollution from idling cars.”

The digital boards will be used on a further bus route – route 415 between Tulse Hill and Liverpool Street – in the autumn. This follows the successful trial of live traffic information displayed on taxi advertising boards by Brightmove Media Limited, which proved the concept of real-time traffic information delivered in this form.

Craig Holloway, Chief Executive of Equitech IT Solutions, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with TfL to trial this new technology. We know how beneficial having real-time traffic information can be for road users, and the technology we have developed will hopefully make life for Londoners easier by having up-to-date information provided to them when travelling on the Capital’s roads.”

Tony Wilson, Managing Director of bus operator Abellio London, said, “At Abellio we aim to take travel beyond A-to-B and believe that this innovation can help achieve that goal. Initiatives which help keep traffic moving will also help those travelling by bus.”

The buses go into service this week. Will we see this smart initiative introduced in Dublin? If I was cynical I could say: “probably not, there is no policy to help regular motorists, van drivers or truckers”.