Roadside Variable Message Signs Missing

Fairly recently (at some point in the last year I think) some new roadside variable message signs (VMS) were installed. There is one on the A117/Pier Road leading to the Woolwich Ferry North Pier, and one on the A204/5/6 roundabout in front of the Woolwich Ferry South Pier. They are new enough that they aren’t visible on Google Street View but I have seen them myself and have photos.

I have trawled through the VMS feeds that I have found from TfL but cannot find these signs in the data.

Perhaps this is the wrong forum to ask but does anyone know why they may not be in the feed and if there is a possibility of them being added?

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Welcome @justdan96

I’m sure that if we ask @jamesevans he might arraange for them.

I’m guessing that you can’t see them on Waze either?

I haven’t seen them on Waze, I have a couple of photos from the south terminal - just to prove they do exist!

Perhaps these signs are just the “ferry opening times” and not “variable message signs” in the sense that TfL usually uses the term?

I think I may have seen them used for traffic updates as well, how do you tell if it is a TfL VMS or not?

@justdan96

I think, looking at the https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Place/Type/VariableMessageSign endpoint that the signs are variable in the sense that they can be both a non-fixed message AND they can be moved to different locations.

The signs in your pictures appear to be fixed in terms of their location. But, give they aren’t these types of old indicators

they can display text.

It’s interesting that the official endpoint for the ferry https://tfl.gov.uk/river-bus/route/woolwich-ferry/ doesn’t show opening times.

Right - so I am guessing they are outside the scope of the official VMS feed. That would explain the omission!

The ferry is a bit of a special case in the TfL data, the status feed usually shows whether it is running or not but doesn’t show if it is a reduced service or is experiencing delays.

I may or may not be developing an app based around the Woolwich Ferry, thus my interest :slight_smile:

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