Case Study: Improving Swindon’s Air Quality with VMS Roadside Messaging.

9th July 2024

Swindon Borough Council Case Study with Messagemaker Displays.

The UK’s air quality is greatly affected by the transport network, in fact, it’s estimated that 26% of the UK’s total emissions come from transport, and 91% of those emissions are from road vehicles alone ( That’s why Swindon Borough Council are playing their part in improving air quality by influencing motorists to opt for greener modes of transport.

Swindon Borough Council had a requirement for full-colour VMS (Variable Message Signs) to be installed on a high-traffic road in Swindon to aid them in their project to influence motorists to opt for greener modes of transport. They required a suitable size to fit on the roadside, the functionality for real-time messaging updates, weekly scheduling and an easy-to-use software.


Messagemaker Displays had the perfect solution, and even better, it was a stock item with a quick turnaround. The Urban VMS range from Messagemaker Displays has five standard sizes to suit all road applications, in this instance, the 80 x 48 pixel (1280 x 768mm screen) was the perfect fit. The RCS Content Management System also fit the bill for all the software requirement; easy to use, scheduling, error monitoring and real-time updates.

““I would say that the RCS application for the VMS road signs was really easy to navigate and was great for incorporating images along with the health behaviour messages.”
“As you can see on the sign on Kingshill Road, we really wanted to have an illustration of a bike along with our nudge message about taking up active travel options. The application allowed for easy, quick edits made to the road sign. My colleagues and I are very pleased with the results.”
Swindon Borough Council VMS Operator
Swindon Borough Council VMS Air Quality

Above the software and hardware being of high quality, the exceptional personal service is what stood out most.  The efficient communication, software demonstrations, helpful and informative account management made the whole process go smoothly.

Improving air quality by making positive changes to our road network will benefit both the environment and people’s health and wellbeing.  The highways industry and government have a long road to go, with initiatives such as this playing a key role in educating and influencing motorists. Long lasting, high quality and easy to use VMS screens sets up the flexibility for future initiatives and effective traffic management tools.

Neil Jones
“It was a pleasure working with Swindon Borough Council and helping them find the ideal solution for them to improve the air quality in Swindon.”
Neil Jones, Messagemaker Displays