Effectiveness of Variable Message Signs ? a Users Perspective

Effectiveness of Variable Message Signs ? a Users Perspective


R Brannan, Scottish Executive, UK; T Edwards, P Murphy, Faber Maunsell, UK; P McGillion, National Network Control Centre, UK



This paper reports the results of an extensive programme of market research using both qualitative research (focus groups and depth interviews) and quantitative research (face to face interviews with over 1700 road users) to assess the impact of services provided by NADICS (NAtional Driver Information Control System. The main research focus was on the impact of variable message signs provided by NADICS across Scotland, although the impact of the website, containing traffic delay information and journey time information was also explored.

The key objectives of this research were to:
Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the services currently provided by NADICS
IIdentify areas for improvement and spending priorities relating to the current NADICS service
Inform any decisions relating to branding and ways to increase awareness of the service

The 2004 research also explored, through a gaming approach the impact that Variable Message Signs had on driver stress levels during different driver conditions.

The 2004 results were compared with the results of a very similar study carried out on NADICS in 1999 in order to benchmark any changes in attitudes and priorities over the five years. This showed how the perceptions of road users in Scotland of the importance and performance, and hence priorities for improvement of the information provided by variable message signs had changed.


Association for European Transport