§ Mr. Jessel
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for licensing route guidance systems in the London area; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Norris
We have received an application from GEC for a pilot licence to operate a system called TIGER—traffic information and guidance on European roads. TIGER will provide a route guidance system for London which responds to changing traffic conditions. I now 283W propose to hold discussions on this proposal with the London Boroughs Associations, the traffic director and the police.
The pilot Autoguide system proposed in 1989, based on the use of roadside beacons, had similar objectives. However, the technology is developing very quickly. GEC now takes the view that cellular radio is more appropriate in this case. I have therefore decided to close the 1989 competition. It is accordingly open to other potential operators to come forward with proposals for other systems based on any technology they consider appropriate.
During the Second Reading of the 1989 Road Traffic Act the then Minister for Roads and Traffic assured the House that representatives of interested parties such as the local authorities and the police would be involved in the monitoring of the Autoguide pilot. I shall arrange for the establishment of an assessment group to implement this undertaking for the TIGER project if a licence is granted.