Southend’s Bust Bus Signs

We just have to ask… do those electronic bus displays all across Southend bug you? No? Just us then.

Not one problem, but three…

It seems that something went wrong in December, possibly as a result of the Christmas timetable. For the last few months, instead of reporting on the time of the next bus, potential passengers are told, digitally, to “Please use the Time Table”

Southend-on-Sea Electronic Bus Sign
Southend-on-Sea Electronic Bus Sign

So – two problems. The signs across the town aren’t working, and timetable seems to have become two words.

Now, here’s the third problem – the bus signs are all showing GMT – unaware that we’re now in British Summer Time and have been since the end of March.

All of these signs have little aerials on top, implying that something, somewhere, is capable of sending these signs a message over-the-air… so how come the time’s not been updated? And how come the system’s been offline for the last four months.

One of our team here’s convinced someone’s lost the password to the Southend Council Bus Mission Control PC (running Windows 95)

From chat in our forum, there’s some debate about how useful these signs actually were when they were working and able to tell the time…. it seems that rather than displaying the estimated arrival time based on the bus’s actual location, they simply showed information from the timetable. We assumed that buses were equipped with GPS locators that could relay real-time positions to Southend Bus Mission Control, so that live data could be pinged to the bus signs… but apparently not.

For more chat on the subject, see our forum’s thread: Southend Electronic Bus Signs

So – Any update on why these signs aren’t working and don’t like summertime? If so, please make our summer and add a comment below.

Oh – here’s a picture of a bus. Nice, isn’t it?

A lovely shiny Southend bus in GMT
A lovely shiny Southend bus in GMT

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Any thoughts on Southend’s broken bus boards? Add some words below…


  1. jenny rayner 9 May 2013 Reply
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