SWARCO VMS to support Coventry’s City of Culture celebrations


In the UK, Coventry City Council has partnered with SWARCO Traffic to supply full color variable messaging signs (VMS) to assist with the expected influx of visitors following Coventry’s elevation to the City of Culture 2021.

A total of nine signs will be installed, five to new posts and four added onto existing infrastructure, to offer visitors a clear route in and out of the city.

The flexibility of the VMS will enable them to perform various functions after the City of Culture finishes, including speed and hazard warnings, road closures and information about public transport. The signs will be controlled via SWARCO Zephyr, the user-friendly web-based management system that will enable the Council to create, schedule and upload messages and guidance.

“The City of Culture events have started and are running until May 2022,” says John Pickworth, managing director of SWARCO Traffic. “The Council needed a bespoke solution to work alongside its existing traffic management systems to manage the high number of visitors expected into the city.”

“The new variable message signs will help us to ensure that we keep our city moving during our year as City of Culture but also for a long time afterwards as well,” says Councillor Patricia Hetherton, cabinet member for city services. “The fact that they are full color means we will be able to give advice alongside the more usual traffic information. We are investing in improved transport infrastructure, including investing in the railway station, providing on street charge points and in future transport solutions such as VLR but it’s also important that we have our eye on clear messaging to road users too.”

Coventry City Council is a long-standing client of SWARCO’s, and previous projects include the RGB VMS signage displaying route and traffic information on the ring road along with air quality signage, which is controlled via Zephyr.

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About Author


Lauren is a regular contributor to Traffic Technology International (TTi) and a freelance technical journalist. Over the past 15 years, she has worked on a wide variety of B2B publications and websites, including a stint as deputy editor of Traffic Technology International from 2014-2016. She has a degree in English from the University of Exeter. Lauren is mum to two busy little girls. She is always in demand!