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Better multi-modal traveller information using different technologies

Winchester

Variable message signs and an automatic number plate recognition system were installed on strategic routes to show air quality and travel information, including the availability of parking spaces, and real-time information was also made available at key locations to public transport passengers.

Implementing sustainable mobility

At the start of the MIRACLES project, a number of traffic and travel display systems were located around Winchester city centre. However, a Best Value review, conducted in 2000, concluded that public transport information required further improvements.

As a result, MIRACLES installed a variety of information display systems to provide better multi-modal information for travellers, especially public transport users. In addition, systems were implemented to improve network management and to provide traffic and travel information to all road users.

This measure was a key part of Hampshire County Council’s integrated approach to the CIVITAS and MIRACLES objectives.

The specific objectives were to:

  • provide better multi-modal information for travellers through the introduction of intelligent transport systems;
  • provide public transport users with real-time travel information; and
  • develop near real-time journey time information for motorists on the radial routes into Winchester city centre.
How did the measure progress?

Three bus departure information systems (BDIS) were installed at the railway and bus stations, providing information on bus arrivals and assisting travellers in making integrated public transport journeys.

Four new variable message signs (VMS) were installed on strategic routes entering the city. Four electronic information kiosks were also installed (at the tourist information centre, the county hospital, in the city centre and at the railway station) to deliver information on public transport services, routes and timetables, accommodation and tourist/visitor attractions. Three information display units were installed at the premises of major employers, enabling employees to consider all the available travel options when planning their journeys. These displayed real-time traffic and travel information, including bus and train times.

Hampshire County Council’s traffic and travel information website, developed under the earlier ROMANSE project, was updated as more information sources became available during measure implementation. Information was also made accessible via mobile devices.

An automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system was installed at strategic locations, including cameras and communications devices to transmit data to a central computer. The data were used to provide origin and destination information and to calculate real-time journey times for public and private transport.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The four information kiosks recorded over 3,500 users per month. Surveys indicated that 94 percent of users rated the kiosks highly; 97 percent found the information they were looking for; 94 percent found them easy to use; and 89 percent agreed with the aim of improving sustainable transport.

The ANPR system worked well and provided reliable journey times to both roadside VMS and schematic diagrams on the ROMANSE website.

In terms of awareness, 49 percent of people surveyed were aware of the bus departure information system; 42 percent of the VMS; 23 percent of the kiosks; and 19 percent of the ROMANSE website.

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