The escalating crisis between Iran and the United Kingdom over the detention of 15 British service personnel has aroused concern not just throughout the political and military worlds, but also for the Bus planners of London Transport.
“From what we have learned about the crisis, from the media, both countries are in dispute over the position of boats using GPS,” explained Ken Billingsworth, Manager for Bus Logistics Central London. “We use the same system to track our buses, so if it doesn’t work it could be a disaster.”
Transport for London uses GPS to locate its buses for amongst other reasons populating the electronic displays on stops that give the expected time of arrival of the next service. There have long been questions and complaints regarding the displays. Many a commuter has looked down from the sign saying their bus was due to find an empty road extending into distance.
“I mean GPS systems are supposed to be accurate to within a few metres. Yet the dispute is over miles. If they were really that inaccurate, it would be chaos. Those electronic displays could be showing any old rubbish,” explained Mr Billingsworth. “We may as well just scroll through the timetable and not bother tracking the actual buses.”
In related news Belinda Willis, who famously wrote off a £96k Mercedes in a river following the instructions of her satellite navigation system, said she felt vindicated by the crisis.
“If sailors can get into troubled water following GPS, what hope has a motorist?”
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