Another waste of money?

In the Nottingham Post one reader has posted the following comment.

“The electronic parking signs are a waste of money anyway. I used to pay attention to them but more than once the Car Park with the largest number of empty spaces indicated is always full.

I then try the one they say is full and surprise, surprise it is nearly empty. When I walked back to shop the sign was still giving the same numbers. I now head for the one that they say is full and always find spaces.

How are these signs updated? Maybe it is a plan to keep the cars away from the shops. ”

I didn’t know these signs weren’t accurate. I know these electronic signs were paid for by Central Government funding.

Has anyone else tried to use these electronic signs? Were they accurate?

Follow the link to read the original comment in the Nottingham Post.


7 Responses to Another waste of money?

  1. Martin says:

    Follow most of your postings but this one has some innaccuracies. GNP did not pay for the electronic car park signs (I don’t know about their accuracy). As for the County bus signs yes GNP did part fund a trial on one route (Newark to Nottingham, I think)around 10 years ago, it was a trial and as you point out led to greater improvements in technologies. Most of the Nottingham signs are just electronic timetables, though they are now trialling an updated sattelite system on a few routes via Derby Road.

    Yes you are right GNP will close in March 2011, having worked in partnership with local authorities public, private and voluntary sectors and having brought more than £300m of investment into the conurbation over the last 15 years or so – not a bad record and for the record the Board decissions have always been open for publication – other than when there is a clear commercial confidentiality.

    Good luck and keep on blogging


  2. nottgirl says:

    Sorry, I did try and find out who had paid for the electronic car park signage; but all I was able to find out, was that it had been paid by Central Government funding. As GNP have had an important role in encouraging greater use of public transport, I had assumed that at least some of the funding had come through them. I’ll change my post.

    I had actually assumed that the electronic signs at bus stops in the City used the satellite technology – I didn’t realise they were just timetables.

    Yes I know most of GNP Board papers are open to the public – I just didn’t have time to trawl through them to check the information.

    I have been reading about the new Local Enterprise Partnerships. I’m interested in your views on these? Remember you can always email me confidentiality at

  3. Mary says:

    Certain bus times are highly accurate – Nottingham use the same system running in Leicester, and it’s not as limited as Martin infers above. This is mainly because Trent Barton share a presence in both localities. Live times are supplemented by timetable data for those services without the necessary hardware – you can tell because “in xx minutes” is displayed for real time, whereas a “hh:mm” is for timetabled.

    Regarding car parking, I’ve heard on second-hand authority that the whole thing was, and still is, a dog’s dinner.

  4. Alan-a-dale says:

    I’m a bit bemused as to why Martin Gawith is responding to issues you haven’t raised in your original post, particularly the impending closure of the Greater Nottingham Partnership and the transparency of the board. Is this because you subsequently changed the post following his comment?

    In terms of car parks, if Nottingham is the least car-dependent city out of the 19 major ones recently surveyed, it shouldn’t really matter whether these signs are accurate or not. The real answer is to get on a bus, train, tram or bike.

  5. Nick says:

    The County Council’s original bus stop GPS system was very experimental. I know that NCT were not that impressed and were of the opinion that if they waited a few years the technology would improve and costs would fall dramatically.

    In an urban environment you don’t need GPS anyway. All the system has to be able to do is to allow the bus to communicate with each stop. This then updates it’s position on the route. Simples.

  6. Nick says:

    It’s . Greengrocer’s apostrophe. Apologies

  7. nottgirl says:

    Hi Alan,
    Martin’s comment came first and I then changed my post in terms of accuracy. I suspect Martin just wants to shout about any successes of GNP in any forum available – especially as central government are rubbishing quangos such as GNP.

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