Highways Agency is launching Traffic Radio across various parts of the UK, making use of space previously used by Smash Hits and Capital Disney. Initial service is expected to commence tomorrow (30th June) with further expansion of the service planned over the coming years.
The service follows DAB trials last year in the Bristol area, and on medium wave in the West Midlands. Traffic Radio has been available on the internet for the last 2 years. The service is ad-free and is totally funded by the Highways Agency.
As there are relatively few cars with DAB facility, the service is aimed at people listening at home or in the office before they set off on a journey — to help avoid major roadworks or accidents.
Highways Agency also plans to operate RSL licences on FM and AM at major events and roadworks. Advertising the service would be by roadside signs, advising motorists to tune their radio into a particular frequency.
Reports of Traffic Radio being available from 28th June started to surface on popular radio message boards. RadioToday.co.uk reporters have been listening to the service on the CE Multiplex at 48kbps Mono in London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Traffic Radio replaces Smash Hits in: Manchester, Central Lancashire, Humberside, Leeds, Liverpool, South Yorkshire, Teesside, Tyne & Wear.
Traffic Radio replaces Capital Disney in: Greater London I, Leicester, Nottingham, South Hampshire, Swindon and West Wilts.
In addition, Traffic Radio makes use of spare space in: Bournemouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Exeter and Torbay, Kent, Norwich, Peterborough, Plymouth and Cornwall, Reading, Southend and Chelmsford, Wolverhampton, Bradford and Huddersfield.
On a related note, in South Wales and the Severn Estuary, Xfm will replace Capital Disney.
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