Touch-screens designed to provide up-to-the-minute travel information for Cardiff have been installed in the city centre.
Cardiff Council said the new “smart travel information points” have been installed at Queen Street’s junctions with The Friary and Park Place, providing information 24 hours a day on bus routes, railway stations, bike parking, park and ride bus stops, taxi ranks, and guidance for people with mobility problems.
Information from bus and rail operators will be sent to the screens, and travellers with smart phones can also use QR codes to get door to door journey plans from Traveline Cymru, link to Arriva Trains Wales for planning rail trips, or go to the Keep Cardiff Moving website for a range of travel information about the Welsh capital.
There is also information on car parks, congestion and any incidents in the city which might affect drivers.
Funding for the all-weather screens has come from the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council as part of the Sustainable Travel City Project, and three more screens are planned for St Mary Street and The Hayes.
Councillor Ralph Cook, Cardiff’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: “In the age of smart phones and social networking there is now a constant demand for up to date information at people’s fingertips. The screens have been developed to help everyone in the city find out the latest travel information in an easy and clear way.
“To be a successful sustainable city it’s important that we provide the right infrastructure and information so that people know their options. The new screens collate all the information together in one place to help people make a decisive choice.”
The council added that the touch screens will complement live bus and rail departure boards which have also recently been installed at the city’s Tourist Information Centre, the Welsh Government building in Cathays Park, County Hall, City Hall, and Central Station.
We went to try out the touch screens in Queen Street…
Once you’ve managed to spot the new screens on Queen Street – the one we tried is just outside Burger King and WH Smith – they’re pretty impressive.
On the home page you can choose from information on buses, taxis, trains, cycling, congestion, and incidents, as well as see a scrolling feed with live traffic and road work updates.
Select buses, and you’re presented with a map of all the bus stops in the city centre. Select an individual bus stop, and you’ll get departure times for the services which run from that stop, and accessibility information for each bus. The information takes a while to load, but is pretty comprehensive.
Click on taxis, and you can see where all the nearby taxi ranks are and their hours of operation. You can also find out where the nearest bike parking is, or see what state the roads are in with a colour-coded congestion map – green roads for no congestion, amber for some traffic, and red for congested.
The incidents tab brings up details of road works around the city, while the QR codes section provides links to Traveline for the iPhone and Android, Arriva Trains Wales, and the Keeping Cardiff Moving website.
Choosing train information currently brings up an error message saying it has “not yet been implemented”. But once this teething problem has been ironed out, it will be a great one-stop shop for travel information in the city.
Have you used the new touch screens? Tell us how useful you found them in the comments below.