Technology trial at Holy Island causeway

TECHNOLOGY is to be trialled at a Northumberland causeway in a bid to finally put an end to motorists getting stranded in water.

TECHNOLOGY is to be trialled at a Northumberland causeway in a bid to finally put an end to motorists getting stranded in water.

The Journal has regularly reported in recent years on motorists trying to cross the causeway at Holy Island outside of displayed safe times and when it is under water, with the result often that their cars break down and they have to be rescued, draining the resources of emergency services.

Now, highways authority Northumberland County Council – which set up a working group to explore solutions – is preparing a series of measures in a bid to address the problem.

They are an Easter trial of a variable message sign (VMS), introduction of more complex and interactive VMSs over the summer – some powered by wind or the sun, a redesign of tide timetables and an iphone/ smartphone app.

Mike Scott, head of sustainable transport, said: “On Holy Island during the Easter fortnight, we are progressing with a trial of a variable message sign to conspicuously advise visitors to look at the tide timetables. We aim to install more complex and interactive variable message signs during the summer to advise motorists of tide times and whether/when the causeway is shut. These message signs would be wind or solar powered.

“The tide timetables available on the island and at other locations across the county, including the website, are going to be redesigned to make them clearer and we will also be developing an app that will complement the website information.”

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