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West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Reliable and immediate communications are key to keeping Britain’s public transport sector moving.

Public transport is an important part of every community; it provides access to education, it keeps the economy moving by getting people to shopping centres, it enables greater independence for those with disabilities and can help in reducing pollution.

Radio Links Communications Limited, who have been a key Motorola Partner in helping businesses migrate to new technology digital two-way radio systems and the advantages that this technology now brings, recently worked in partnership with a West Yorkshire Local Authority to upgrade their old analogue two-way radio system to digital.

The upgrade was specifically designed to take full advantage of the improved two-way voice communications now available with digital technology and to make use of the specialist Health and Safety features that come with new Motorola digital radios, together with the associated monitoring and dispatcher applications.

Radio Links client, West Yorkshire Combined Authority who are responsible for West Yorkshires public bus network, required immediate and direct communications from its central CCTV control hub in Leeds, to its eight main remote bus terminals which are spread far and wide across West Yorkshire.

These lines of communications are required by the central control hub in Leeds to enable them to pass important information to groups of radio users at each bus terminal instantly.  This would then allow them to monitor and receive radio communications from each of the bus depots and as importantly, to monitor Lone Worker and Panic Button alarms that could be initiated by any one of the Motorola radios at any one of the eight sites.

Radio Links Communications Limited were able to meet all of the customers’ requirements by having the bus depots and the main control hub connected together over an IP network.  This allowed Radio Links to install a TRBOnet Enterprise Software Dispatcher System onto a PC based in Leeds, with Motorola IP addressable base stations at each of the remote bus terminals. Motorola Solutions DP4600e hand portable two-way radios supplied by distributor Airsys were then used at the remote sites.  These Motorola radios were chosen by WYCA, primarily for their rugged IP68 build standard and their  in-built Health and Safety features.

Now, a press of the radios Emergency Panic Button, or activation of the radios Lone Worker Alarm is immediately detected by the central TRBOnet Dispatcher program.  The PC monitor at Leeds will provide an audible alert and the controllers monitor will display and identify which individual radio, at which of the eight remote sites, has initiated an alarm call for help. Emergency assistance can then be directed immediately and accurately by the controllers as required.

Using the TRBOnet Enterprise Dispatcher PC, controllers using a headset connected to their PC can make radio calls to any individual radio at any site, can initiate a group-call to all of the radios at any one of the eight sites, or can call all radios at all sites simultaneously in the event of an emergency.

As the operators are equipped with the Motorola Solutions DP4600e handportable radios with large LCD displays, the controllers have the option to send discrete text messages from their PC keyboard to the radios, in situations when broadcast voice messages may be inappropriate.

All radio voice traffic is recorded by the TRBOnet Enterprise Dispatcher PC and date and time stamped for audit purposes in the event of a serious incident.