Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
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En-route Information

Historically, en-route travel information consisted of a paper map or instructions on how to reach your destination. It was not possible to communicate disruption or delay information to road and public transport network users with the exception of verbal communication from public transport network staff or the emergency services (Police, Fire, Ambulance).

Today, in contrast, there is a myriad of information available to drivers and travellers via:

  • mobile internet
  • radio
  • roadside Variable Message Signs
  • public transport information displays
  • in-vehicle systems

This diversity brings challenges in terms of ensuring data accuracy, quality, timeliness and interpretation. These issues are discussed more fully under each of the tools below. 

Increasingly the road traveller and public transport user is demanding greater knowledge of the entire network. This trend is expected to continue with a greater requirement for predictive information and real time advice in the event of network disruption.



As technology evolves we also see a requirement for managing existing information services with a falling user base, while new services take over.  The public expects the existing services to continue in a seamless manner unless advised otherwise. There is a clear requirement to manage expectations and set clear timescales for any required migrations.   

The key objectives for providing or receiving en-route information are dependent on the users/stakeholders concerned. 

For road network operators

the priorites are:

  • confirmation of good levels of service and reliable journey times when the network is performing well
  • current network availablity and unavailability when road closures occur
  • delay and congestion on the network
  • directions and other information on alternative routes
  • confirmation and reassurance when drivers are diverted to alternative routes

For public transport network operators

the priorities are:

  • confirmation of good levels of service and reliable journey times when the service is performing well
  • current service/network availability and unavailability for journeys and any connecting journeys
  • information on delays and congestion on the network - including for connecting journeys
  • information on alternative services
  • confirmation and reassurance when transport users are diverted to alternative services

Keeping service users informed during both times of normal operation and disrupted operation is becoming ever more essential for transport authorities and operators. When transport authorities and operators do not provide this information the absence of information will be filled by users sharing information on social media, which may or may not be accurate. (See  Social Media & Data)

Reference sources

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