Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The benefits of improving multi-modal traveller information

- To provide better, multi-modal, information for travellers through the introduction of intelligent transport systems.
- To provide public transport users with real-time travel information.
- To develop near real-time journey time information for motorists on the radial routes into Winchester city centre.

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 provide traffic and travel information to all road users.

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

Description of the implementation
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 installed: two indoors (Tourist Information Centre and Royal Hampshire County Hospital); and two outdoors (city centre and Railway Station). The kiosks deliver information regarding public transport (services, routes, timetables, etc.), accommodation and tourist/visitor attractions.

Three Information Display Units (IDUs) were installed at major employers premises, allowing employees to consider all travel options when planning journeys. These display real-time, traffic and travel information (also available on the ROMANSE website), static bus and, real-time train times.

The ROMANSE website was updated as more information sources became available during the life of the project. Information from the website is now also accessible via mobile devices.

Installation of an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system comprised of cameras at strategic locations around the city, forming an inner and outer cordon: together with communications facilities that transmit data to a central computer. The data is used to provide origin-destination information, and calculate real-time journey times for both public and private transport.

Key Findings
The four kiosks recorded over 3,500 users per month. The two outdoor kiosks attraced approximately four times as many users as those indoor, primarily due to the greater footfall. On-street surveys found that 94% of users rated the kiosks highly; 97% found the information they were looking for; 94% found them easy to use, and; 89% agreed with the aim of improving sustainable transport.

The IDUs and VMS are providing multi-modal traffic and travel information, and previous research has shown these systems are well received by the public. The ANPR system is working well and reliably provides journey times to both roadside
VMS and schematic diagrams on the ROMANSE on-line web site.

ANPR systems of this type require an extensive validation process in order to verify
that the information disseminated to the public is accurate. Also, installation of equipment in an historical setting, or on third-party land can be time-consuming. As such it is important to factor in sufficient time to allow for this.

In terms of awareness, 49% of the general public were aware of BDIS, 42% of VMS, 23% of the kiosks and 19% of the ROMANSE on-line website.

Reported by

Highways and Transport Policy
SO23 8UD Winchester
United Kingdom
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