Bartco UK forms development and distribution partnership with Signature Group


Variable message sign (VMS) manufacturer Bartco UK has announced a partnership with European intelligent transport system (ITS) manufacturer Signature Group (France) in a deal set to increase the range of ITS products available in the UK, while expanding the international market for the UK division of the Australia-based company.

Announced at the recent Seeing is Believing (SiB) highways event in Leicestershire in the UK, the partnership will involve the two companies working together to develop new ITS products for manufacture, both by Bartco UK and Signature Group’s industries. These will include UK regulation-compatible versions of existing Signature Group MS4 high-resolution VMS and AMI products, and a new generation of embedded VMS and arrows for use on highway maintenance trucks. Signature also manufactures and sells systems for intelligent parking, mobility guidance, lane control, overheight detection, and traffic control. It is also involved in cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS).

Through its strong international presence, Signature Group will promote Bartco UK’s products across the world, dramatically expanding the market of the Derbyshire-based company. The new partnership will reinforce the Signature Group’s brands in the UK, and Bartco UK will promote the products in the Australian market, via its parent company, Bartco Traffic Equipment Pty. The two companies plan to launch the new products and distribution operation within the next 12 months.

“Our partnership with Signature Group will enable us to expand the range of innovative ITS products available to the UK transport management sector,” explained Bartco UK’s managing director, Pat Musgrave. “At a corporate level, our new deal will also promote our expansion abroad.”

The Signature Group’s industrial operations director, Patrick Ginter, commented, “This partnership will complement both product ranges and will enable us to innovate together in safety, customer service and intelligent traffic management solutions in highways, as well as urban ecosystems.”

Best known for its mobile VMS units, Bartco UK has used SiB to unveil its first collection of permanent ITS products with the launch of the two new energy-efficient fixed Remote Controlled Temporary Traffic Management Signs (RCTTMS), which are the first generation of products designed and manufactured by the company to comply with new government standards. Once the standards are finalized, permanent RCTTMS will become a nationwide fixture on All Lanes Running (ALR) Smart Motorways, replacing the temporary products that are currently deployed.

The 12B measures 87.4 x 74.8in (222 x 190cm), and is designed to be installed on the verge of four-lane highways. The smaller 9 model at 62.4 x 74.8in (158 x 190cm) is supplied in pairs for use on highways of up to five lanes, with one sign deployed on the verge, and another in the central reservation. Both signs are powered by mains or 12V DC with the option of battery backup, which due to the sign’s low power consumption can be fitted inside the sign itself or in an external cabinet. They feature red and white LEDs to display the legends, and LEDs on the rear of the sign to display the status of power and communications.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).