BBC local radio stations to drop INRIX voiced bulletins

INRIX will no longer provide presenter-read travel bulletins for 39 BBC local stations from June as part of changes at the radio network.

Instead, staff at each station will read their own bulletins, in a bid by the BBC to bring local voices back to the bulletin.

In an email to all staff this morning, Chris Burns, Head of Audio & Digital, BBC England, said “completely customisable traffic and travel scripts will be sent to each station to be read out by a member of staff”, adding that the change will “also ensure that we are providing our licence fee payers with the best value for money.”

Staff at INRIX were also told the news in a conference call, including details of potential job losses and building closures.

Chris Burns adds that local radio stations are now free to review the frequency of traffic and travel bulletins when they receive the data which will continue to be supplied by INRIX.

INRIX tells RadioToday: “For the better part of 20 years, INRIX has been providing the BBC with traffic and incident information across the UK. As part of our current agreement, the BBC will continue to use our best-in-class traffic and incident data, but will start producing the travel bulletins internally using INRIX incident and congestion data to provide more ‘local’ travel news.

“Whilst INRIX will remain the sole source for travel content for the BBC, this decision is expected to affect a number of INRIX broadcast positions”..”

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4 Comments
  1. Mr Boltar says

    I never understood why they used them in the first place. How hard is it in the 21st century to put a short script on screen for the on air presenter to read out? Ditto the weather but the weather presenters work for the BBC anyway and do the TV bulletins which can’t be done by others so no potential savings there.

    1. Hello_Travel says

      Traffic news changes minute by minute which is why it’s not possible to write one script at the start of a shift, or hour, and use the same thing over and over as One potentially could for Weather or Sport which changes at a much slower pace. Travel news truly is ‘rolling news’ (if you’ll pardon the pun) so it’s actually quite tricky to turn a database output into sensical and intelligent sentence, in real-time, 39 times over for someone to read and sound knowledgeable even though they don’t ‘know travel’.

      Yesterday I saw some tweets suggesting “Just use what Highways tweet” or “just read what xblahx traffic colours show on a map”, but there so, so much more it it than that. Tweets are often wrong or out of date, even when camera images are shown. The recent story about someone fooling a well known map to show traffic jams when there are none is a good example why it’s necessary to cross reference multiple sources to decide which is correct, and that is where the expertise comes in.

      By the by, I never understood why ‘travel’ was always seen as the lowest of the low in the industry (After presenter, News, Sport, Weather, the cats mother) when it’s one of the hardest things to do, and do well. It’s a good launch pad into radio.

  2. Mark Budgen says

    Given that BBC local presenters seem to say nothing but the station name and track name of the constant MOR music they play isn’t it time they also read the news bulletins? You could then easily drop a hell of a lot of staff who are effectively only there for 2 minutes an hour. More savings. But no, the BBC would rather pay Gemma Collins to do a podcast….

  3. Stephen Bottomley says

    Not surprised as news as had cuts on a night,sport seen cuts.At times travel is a waste of time as some of the readers have no idea what is going on and couldnt give a care..

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