Norfolk council buys low power signs for live travel news

Norfolk County Council is putting up around 50 low energy signs to give bus passengers and road users in Norfolk and Great Yarmouth live travel information. They use 90% less […]

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By ELN reporter

Norfolk County Council is putting up around 50 low energy signs to give bus passengers and road users in Norfolk and Great Yarmouth live travel information.

They use 90% less energy than conventional signs according to Jeremy Wiggin, Travel Development Team Manager at the council.

He told ELN: “All the signs are hugely energy efficient which was a key positive point.”

The sign makers Nexus Alpha are rolling them out in June, plus some solar powered ones, in a deal worth £315,000.

They are extra displays and so the council will be using more energy – but not much, he said: “Even the mains powered displays hardly use any power, what a watch uses in a year they virtually use in their lifetime.”

More signs may go up around the county if the first 50 are successful.

‘Smart’ really should mean smart

In this new ‘smart’ era, devices should work with any software suggested the council man – this is where Norfolk’s low power signs break with tradition.

The council isn’t using the software that comes with the signs, instead drawing travel information from an existing system.

“You don’t have two different systems to send it to screens. Now we just enter one computer and it just squirts out the data to two screens.”

He added: “The project is opening new doors, it’s proved that actually if you only want 10 solar displays, just buy 10.

“This is what we’ve gone back to the DfT with – to be honest everybody should be able to work with everyone else.”

The days when only one piece of software works with a product are “long gone”, added the travel expert.