Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Derby Bus Signs May Never Work Again

A serious software issue with Derbyshire's £340,000 worth of electronic bus information signs means that they may never work correctly.
The signs, which advise when buses are due, were bought three years ago, but 35 remain in storage and eight have not been switched on. Derbyshire County Council has been unable to find replacement software that will solve the problems. Derby City Council has removed 66 of the 140 signs it has in the city centre because they were not communicating properly with the technology on the buses. Now, Derbyshire County Council has said it is having similar problems through-out the rest of the county.The Council said it could not rule out that the signs would never work again.
David Gambles

Richard Lomas adds:
The system was called Star Trak and was predominantly used in Leicestershire but was switched off in January 2011. http://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/transport-traffic/traffic-management/star-trak/
trent barton used Star Trak on Rainbow5 (now Indigo) between Derby and Nottm and a Derby local service.   Kinch used it on Skylink between Derby and Loughborough. Some stop signs were installed on the Transpeak service in the Matlock area but never used. My experience as a passenger was that it worked reasonably well most of the time but not always and it sometimes got confused when stops were close together. Another problem was that not all the buses in the fleet were fitted with the system.
My understanding is that it was a pioneering system but that it is not compatible with what is now emerging as the de facto standard for this technology.