A new mobile phone app which allows motorists to keep up to date with local road closures and driving conditions has been launched by the Department of Infrastructure.
The free ‘readthesigns’ app is available for iphone and android and allows users to check what information is being shown on the 10 Matrix signs around the Island – situated at the Villa Marina, Liverpool Arms, Bath Place, Albert Road, Hillberry-Mountain, Hillberry-Douglas, Sulby Main Road, Barregarrow-Mountain, Ramsey-Mountain and Barregarrow Main Road.
The Matrix signs, which display important messages for road users, are updated 24 hours a day and the information on the app is refreshed every five minutes.
While the app has been launched in time for TT 2014, Minister for Infrastructure Laurence Skelly MHK says it will play a useful role all year round.
‘The aim was always to have the app available for this year’s TT festival, as it’s an ideal time to showcase how useful the app will be,’ said Mr Skelly. ‘However, this isn’t just about the TT. It will be beneficial to motorists throughout the year and is a further example of the Department’s desire to make as much information as possible available to the public through automated means.’
Bill Corlett, Highways Customer Services Officer, added: ‘readthesigns is easy to download from app stores and is simple to use. When you click on the icon on your phone, it brings up a list of the Matrix signs. Any that are displaying a sign at that time will show an icon next to them, which you then click to read.
‘For example, if you are finishing work in Douglas and driving home to Ramsey, you can check what the Matrix signs are saying and be able to plan your journey accordingly.’
This is the second app the Department has developed, following on from the success of its ‘Report a Problem’ app. Launched two years ago, this now accounts for 20% of all defect reports received, with latest statistics showing that 90% of the defects reported via the app are being resolved within 24 hours.
The prototype for the readthesigns app was created by a Department of Infrastructure technician.