Project EDWARD and National Safe Speeds Day

Wednesday the 19th is National Safe Speed Day, which coincides with Day 3 of the #ProjectEdward campaign. #SafeSpeedsDay aims to encourage drivers to reflect on their driving and commit to making every journey a safe one that doesn’t exceed the speed limits. 

Project EDWARD is an initiative which promotes safety on our roads with this year’s theme being ‘Changing Minds, Changing Behaviour’. Its Week of Action began on Monday the 17th of October, with police forces across the UK increasing their speed enforcement activity, focusing on roads or areas that are known to be where speeding happens or where past incidents have occurred.  

As a company that prioritises safety, particularly with speed, showing our support for this initiative is important to us. Over the last 10 years, our ITS solutions have served the UK’s highways and helped to keep them safe. Products like our Radar Activated VMS, IVD Radar and HD Data Collection Radar can all be used to solve speed safety issues. 

Our Radar Activated VMS can be used to display a variety of vital messages, speed alerts and responsive information, all triggered by the driver’s speed. The VMS-AVMS-C and HD Compact VMS can all be integrated with radar to increase their capabilities whilst still maintaining all the fantastic features of our standard VMS.

There are lots of great benefits to Radar Activated VMS, such as the capability to detect speed and use the VMS-A’s messaging power for ‘Specific Speed Messaging’, where messages can be overridden with a speed roundel if a vehicle exceeds the set speed limit. When the unit detects the speed of an approaching vehicle, it alerts the driver of their speed and advises them to slow down if necessary. 

All our VMS also discreetly house a data collection radar which can collect vehicle logs on speed, time and date. By allowing users to identify traffic trends and risks, such as speed or volume of traffic, they can then take steps to solve them.


As a fleet operator, making sure that our drivers are driving safely and within the speed limit is crucial. This is why we’re proud to achieve a FORS Bronze accreditation, which shows our commitment to excellence in driver and vehicle safety, as well as efficiency and environmental protection.

If you’d like to learn more about how our Radar Activated VMS can solve your speed safety issues, or any of our other products for that matter, get in touch with our Sales team at 01629 580570 or by email at:

Learn more about Project EDWARD here: Make sure to get involved and show your support by using the hashtag #ProjectEdward. 

4 Ways the HD Compact VMS Increases Safety for Urban Works

Launched in 2016, the first iteration of the HD Compact VMS was the first portable VMS of its size available to the UK market. Since then, this unit has gone on to inspire competing solutions from competitors, with even them identifying just how popular it was.

MVIS and sister company Bartco UK are still leading the industry, with the HD Compact undergoing significant development since that first version. The latest version boasts many new features that competing units don’t, such as integrated solar power, placing our HD Compact miles ahead of alternative solutions, especially for urban works.

In this post, we shine a spotlight on 4 aspects that make the HD Compact excel in urban environments.

4. Small Footprint

As the smallest portable VMS in our range, the HD Compact boasts an impressively small footprint. Urban environments often have limited space for construction work or road maintenance, so when it comes to messaging, how site managers use that space is of critical concern.

With the HD Compact VMS, site managers do not need to compromise on messaging in the same way as they would for static signs. Using web browser or a mobile device, operators can programme or change messaging quickly and easily, creating cycled messages too that can communicate multiple messages using the same sign.

This allows more detailed information to be communicated without taking up anymore space, leaving room for other equipment that may help to increase safety, or simply by keeping the site’s area small, reducing the risk to workers, pedestrians and drivers.  

3. HD Display

Whilst this is a small unit, the HD Compact still boasts an impressive 28 x 28 matrix with a 20mm pixel pitch. This allows for the display to show a wide range of messaging and pictograms, enabling site managers to break down language barriers and communicate important messages effectively.

The display also features the best red and white dual colour LEDs, allowing messages to contain emphasis and display effective pictograms.

Using bright dynamic signs instead of dull static ones offers an obvious advantage in that messages are clear and stand out more, especially in the dark, which could help to increase safety at any time of the day.

2. Solar Power

Integrating solar power with our HD Compact V2 was a development that brought it in line with our other portable VMS, making our full VMS range solar powered. Due to the HD Compact’s very low power demands, solar power is a powerful addition to the unit, allowing it offer highly extended run times under the right conditions.

The addition of solar power reduces the need for battery changes which can be disruptive if the sign has been deployed in a dangerous or difficult to access location due to the surrounding works.

It also helps cut the project’s carbon footprint too. Reduced battery changes means a reduced number of trips from our nearest depot to the sign and then back again, minimising fuel use. This could be important for a company’s corporate social responsibility goals, as well as helping to cut down emissions seen in town and city centres, increasing safety for everyone.

1. Data Collection Radar

Like all our solar powered VMS, the HD Compact comes integrated with a Data Collection Radar that can collect traffic trend data on time, date and speed.

In urban environments, this can be of great use for planning and safety, allowing site managers to report on levels of traffic around the work site, which can highlight risks and allow them to take action on those risks.

Combined with the sign’s messaging capability, the Data Collection Radar makes this unit a perfect solution to deploy in the lead up to works being done, giving drivers warning of the disruption as well as collecting data on levels of traffic, allowing site managers to address risks before work even starts.

If you would like to learn more about our HD Compact VMS, please contact us via our contact form. Alternatively, you can call us on 01629 580 570 to speak to one of our friendly team, or you can email us via

Helping Keep Utility Companies’ Traffic Management Safe

Recent campaigns from the likes of National Highways and Tier 1 or 2 contractors look to help tackle the abuse that highways workers must deal with when closing lanes, roads or conducting any works on a road that may disrupt driver’s journeys.

Initiatives such as the highways industry backed taskforce, “Stamp It Out” aims to eradicate abuse and incursions into closures on both the local and strategic network, helping to protect the thousands of workers who provide vital services that allow all road users to travel safely and freely every day.

Despite the initiatives, campaigns and nationally observed events like Road Safety Week, “Stamp It Out” remark that “we continue to see increasing numbers of threats both verbally and physically against those that work on our highways across the United Kingdom.”

Indeed, the Evening Standard also noted last year that “Almost one in 10 staff said they have been subjected to physical abuse in the past year, while one in five reported having missiles thrown at them”, really highlighting just how big this problem is.

MVIS and Bartco UK are well known in the industry for creating a culture of collaboration in our product development. Over the years, we have brought numerous products to market that respond to our customer’s needs, and this is an approach that we continue to maintain today.

When it comes to the safety of our customers and our own team, we take this collaborative approach even more seriously. For projects on the high-speed network, in recent years we have developed our Solar IP with CCTV solution to accommodate Low Light CCTV technology, improving visibility for workers on motorways and dual carriageways during night times too.

However, typical urban works, such as those undertaken by utility companies, may struggle to accommodate a Solar IP due to limited budgets or space. Urban environments are more likely to experience space limitations, working on roads of a lower speed, with a higher density of urban planning to work around.

In response to this concern, the team at MVIS and Bartco UK have been working with utilities and traffic management companies to develop 2 new solutions that help to bring many of the same advantages seen with our Solar IP on high-speed roads to urban works.

The Compact Portable CCTV solution integrates wire-free HD CCTV technology with our solar powered ‘Compact’ base, offering increased portability and a reduced footprint compared to other solutions. Combining this CCTV technology with our solar powered compact base means this unit can be deployed in many locations where competing solutions can’t be and prevents the need for an external power source, offering extended run times in recommended conditions.

Our compact base offers the camera not only portability, but also a 3M mast, allowing users excellent visibility when used in conjunction with the camera’s pan, tilt and zoom functions.

For the ultimate in urban safety solutions, we have also developed the CCTV VMS solution, which discreetly integrates a CCTV camera with our VMS-A. Combining these technologies allows you to have eyes on the ground without having to be physically present on-site, creating a surveillance and feedback solution that can be used to monitor and respond to situations quickly.

As a tried and tested traffic control solution, our VMS-A is often used to communicate vital information and safety messages all over the UK and can be used for text or pictograms.

The VMS-A is versatile, requires no external power source and messages can be updated remotely by your team or ours, via a web-based portal that can publish changes in seconds, allowing you to respond to the situation as it changes.

The power of messaging in safety applications can be highly useful, but when integrated with CCTV, both technologies come together to enforce safety restrictions and keep people safe in a more effective way than if used on their own.

The visible presence of CCTV and clear messaging are both well known to influence behaviour. Their combined use offers an information, surveillance and feedback solution that can be used to monitor driver and pedestrian behaviour without having to be on-site.

Graeme Lee, Sales Director at MVIS and Bartco UK comments, “We have been working closely with industries to deliver solutions that have increased safety for many years. The utilities industry and the traffic management companies that work with them can have a tough job with urban works, often working around busy urban or residential sites. Works such as this can be highly frustrating to drivers, pedestrians and even residents especially if the correct warning signage has not been put in place before the works start. In potentially risky situations, it is of the utmost importance that the workers on the ground are protected as much as possible. Our solutions can help with this, making sure that anyone on-site has low cost and flexible surveillance that increases security and safety.” 


MVIS offer Added Value

We have always taken pride in the things that make us special. As an industry leader, we are required to not just stay on the forefront of innovation, but to also push the boundaries for the rest of the industry, ensuring our service and products are the best they could be so that our customers are receiving maximum value.

As a result, we place the idea of ‘added value’ high amongst our priorities, looking at ways we can improve our service and products, as well as our internal processes.

Knowing our Customers

One of the ways we look to offer added value for our customers is by taking the time and effort to learn about the industries we work with. We do this to gain a good understanding of their needs, which then helps us in our continuing mission to look for ways to add more value. As such, it makes working with MVIS and hiring our products an experience that offers much more than intended.

A good example of this can be found in the development of our HD Compact unit, which was the first portable Variable Message Signs (VMS) of its size to hit market and has since inspired the develop of competing units within the industry. The HD Compact was developed in response to a customer requirement for Traffic Management applications, since at the time, portable VMS units were traditionally roughly the size of our VMS-A and VMS-C units.

Some Traffic Management applications, especially urban works are highly limited on space, making VMS-A and VMS-C units too big for some projects. The HD Compact helped to fulfil this requirement for the entire industry and to this day has changed the landscape of the portable VMS market in the UK.

This solution would not be possible without our proactive approach when it comes to working with our customers and it is an approach we maintain today. Since it’s launch in 2016, we have continued to develop the HD Compact with our customers, recently undergoing significant changes that still puts it ahead of competing solutions of its size. Version 2 of the unit comes with integrated solar power, the addition of adjustable height for its display and a new casing design that hides all cabling, making it more secure against vandalism or accidental damage.

Product Integrations

As with the HD Compact, we are always developing all our units to make sure that customers are getting much more than just a portable VMS. Due to the locations that our products are traditionally deployed, they offer a great opportunity for a wide range of additional extras that can bring huge benefits to any project. We do this by integrating other technologies with our signs that enhance what they are capable of.

For example, when deployed to communicate to drivers, our signs can offer extra value to a project with their integrated data collection radar, which comes as standard with all our VMS.

The integrated data collection radar offers a low-cost alternative to many data collection solutions on the market and is ideal to be used as a data source for the analysis of traffic trends, enabling greater intelligence for planning projects of all kinds.

It may also help with general road and work site safety, allowing users to identify traffic trends with risk, such as speed or volume of traffic, and therefore take steps to combat it. Sourcing traffic data has never been easier, with data uploading to our server every hour, ready to be downloaded at any time by the user via a web-based portal.

Combining data collection and VMS in one unit offers a multi-functional solution that can help collect valuable data at the same time as communicating messages. What’s more is that by working with data sharing solutions company, Chordant on a trial that demonstrates that our integrated data collection radar produced comparable traffic speeds and flow relative to Coventry SCOOT data, we have proved that we can use our signs to help to understand traffic trends and flows.

In recent months, we have expanded the capability of our units, especially the VMS-A with integrations such as the VMS CCTV solution, which integrates a CCTV camera with the VMS-A for increased security and monitoring of a work site.

Working with Partners

We don’t just work with customers when it comes to innovation.

MVIS, as well as our sister company, ITS manufacturer, Bartco UK, have worked with a range of specialists in their field to bring portable, solar powered innovations to the industry such as ANPR and CCTV.

This is made possible by our Solar IP, which serves as a trailer-based, solar powered ‘power bank’ available for integration with other technology, granting it portability and solar power.

We offer added value to clients who require our products simply by offering the Solar IP, allowing them to integrate the technology they already own with ours, potentially opening new doors for what the technology is capable of. Working with either MVIS or Bartco UK offers an opportunity to be the first to develop a new industry innovation.

However, we also work proactively with partners, developing relationships with specialists in technology to help make their technology portable. We seek value in our partners to ensure that we can also provide value to the industry, resulting in innovations with leading companies such as Wavetronix, Jenoptik360 Vision and Iknaia.

solar ip with portable cctv

Added Value for Everyone

One of the biggest product integrations we have recently developed looks at the added value we can bring for everyone. The Integrated ITS Environmental Sensor can be combined with any of our ITS solutions to offer clients the ability to monitor the external environment, producing a wide range of air pollution data that can be used to inform and direct on issues of air pollution safety. 

This solution not only benefits the customer for their environmental or project goals, but also helps wider society in efforts to reduce pollution, by giving users the ability to identify hot spots and areas of concern, making it easier to take action.

Also, by serving as a very low-cost alternative to static Air Quality monitoring stations, it allows clients to cover more space in a cost-effective way by using our units, meanwhile, fulfilling another safety function at the same time.


Although we specialise in portable solar powered ITS solutions, we never lose sight of the fact that we are a service-based company. As a result, we highly prioritise the added value we can offer in our service.

We are proud to offer customers our ‘Platinum Service Promise’, which outlines our commitment to delivering a ‘Platinum’ level service for a ‘Bronze’ level price. Going above and beyond on what is expected from us means we receive a lot of positive customer feedback, which allows us to identify things we get right.

Anne Ashman, UK Group Commercial and Operations Director commented, “We don’t just offer 24/7 service to our customers, we offer informed and experienced service from a highly trained team. Our impressive range of additional aspects that is encompassed in our service helps distinguish us from a typical VMS supplier.”

One of these aspects is how we monitor our products. We have a plethora of tools in place that help us monitor different aspects of our units out in the field, all from our head office in Matlock. On the rare occasions that there is an issue, we are made aware using our monitoring tools and, thanks to our national coverage, we can quickly dispatch a team from the nearest depot to investigate the problem, building in battery changes, repairs and replacements if needed into the promise of service we offer our clients.

After years of over-delivering on our customer’s expectations, we have built a reputation in the industry for our excellent service. Our emphasis on training gives customers confidence that our versatile team are fully trained in Health & Safety and as hiab and slinger signalers for delivery, installation and removal. Depending on their role on site, our workforce are also always present with the appropriate and relevant CSCS card, ensuring only the highest standards are met.

These aspects that give MVIS added value to work with culminate to working with a business that has covered every aspect of a platinum level service.

Hire with MVIS today to be confident that your ITS technology will be taken care of by experts.

Spotlight: HD Compact VMS V.2

Back in June last year, MVIS and Bartco UK were proud to announce the latest version of our revolutionary HD Compact VMS.

V.2 of this unit marked a development on an already ground-breaking advancement in the VMS market.

V.1 of the HD Compact was the first of its kind, offering a light-weight, portable variable message sign designed for use within work zones to improve safety and communicate information. Featuring a dual colour (red and white) display, this VMS can be updated remotely via our web-based portal or mobile app and boasts up to a 4-week run time.

V.2 builds on everything that makes the V.1 brilliant, offering added developments that usher in new and exciting uses of the HD Compact unit. One of the biggest developments to have been seen is the use of solar power, offering highly extended maintenance free run-time and representing a significant upgrade on the V.1.

Another development in the V.2 is the addition of adjustable height for its display, allowing for greater customisation for the application it is being used for. It also features a new casing design that hides all cabling, making it more secure against vandalism or accidental damage.

The new version of this unit also still benefits from the data collection radar integrated in all our signs. This makes our VMS a low-cost alternative to many data collection solutions on the market, offering a data source for the analysis of traffic trends and enabling greater intelligence for planning projects of all kinds.

These developments bring the HD Compact in line with our other solar powered signs, allowing us to offer a fully solar powered VMS range in different sizes.

Along with the V.2 of our HD Compact, we have also been working on a new trailer which allows us to be more efficient in deploying these units, transporting up to 6 in one journey.

Developed with Edwards Trailers, this trailer moves us closer to our Corporate Social Responsibility goal for a cleaner, more environmentally friendly delivery model. It also offers our drivers a more efficient and safer delivery tool, helping to cut down on journeys in a post-COVID-19 world.

For more information about our HD Compact V.2, please contact us via our contact form.

Alternatively, you can call us on 01629 580 570 to speak to one of our friendly team, or you can email us via

MVIS | Quality Comes Assured With A Promise

Portable VMS A & C provides the complete Portable VMS solution

Specialists in Portable VMS hire, MVIS is a staple of the UK’s road network.

With a product range developed to meet all challenges and environments nationwide, the company and its VMS units excel in both high-speed and urban environments.

Here, we take an in-depth look at both the MVIS VMS A & C, their key features, and how they make our network a more efficient and safer place.


The MVIS VMS-A is the ideal solution for urban and inner-city environments. One of MVIS’ most popular units for traffic management applications, the unit’s smaller footprint provides a nimble option in limited space environments.

First put to the test in the baptism of fire that was the London 2012 Olympics, the unit has stood the test of time since that challenging inception, which says all you need to know about the success and popularity of the VMS unit itself.

Undeniably built to last, some of the current MVIS fleet were in fact a part of that first roll out, meaning almost 10 years later the units are still going strong.

With over 180 VMS-A units now on the MVIS fleet, it’s extremely safe to say the product has become an incredibly reliable ‘go to’ option for a diverse range of clientele over the last 9 years.



For the high-speed network, MVIS provides the VMS-C, the perfect solution for roads with a speed limit higher than

Efficiency and reliability is the name of the game with the VMS-C, not to mention industry leading innovation and technology.

When travelling the UK’s highways, the VMS-C is a regular sight, and there’s no wonder, with over 228 on the MVIS fleet.


Key features

Both units are equipped with some unique, industry leading features. Here we bring you just a taste:

5 Colour Display

LED screens enable a low power, maximum brightness element to both VMS-A and VMS-C displays, ensuring visibility is absolutely paramount whilst simultaneously managing power output.

Available in 5 colours, the display allows for red, green, blue and white as well as the highways standard – amber.

Solar charging system

Specifically designed for the UK environment, both VMS-A and VMS-C are fitted with solar power units – completely
eradicating the need for external power.

This greener, more sustainable feature showcases the MVIS commitment when it comes to going greener in accordance with the company’s ISO 14001 accreditation.

Tilting Solar Panels

Designed to make the most of the available light, which in the UK we are all too aware can be far from plentiful at times, both portable VMS units can be adjusted when it comes to facing the light to become exposed to solar energy.

The solar charging system is optimised on a technical level also for the UK sun by using the most suitable solar
panels and solar regulators.

Each unit is built with one solar charger per solar panel – not per unit – so optimal charging capacity is present at all times.

This advanced nuance means maximum efficiency for the battery life for the units, keeping the low output LED displays on.

This ultimately means a pair of dependable units to keep Britain moving.

Radar Integration & Journey Time Information

The integration of radar allows for both units to display vital messages, speed alerts and responsive information in relation to driver behaviour, using tried and tested traffic control solutions to then positively influence driver behaviour.

The units discreetly house the data collection radar that can collect information on speed, time and date.

This, in addition to journey time information via the NTIS DATEX II Portable Journey Time Variable Message Sign Solution (PJTVMS) means that both VMS A & C units are delivering key real-time messages to our road users.

Combining data collection and VMS in one unit offers a multi-functional solution that can help collect valuable data at the same time as communicating messages.

Read More About The PJTVMS Here

So, there you have it. Safe, sustainable, innovative and efficient. Packed with precision and industry leading technology, these two portable VMS units leave no stone unturned.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next product focus from MVIS as it continues to keep Britain moving.

ITS Technology Supporting Retails Parks

This year we have seen a large increase in demand for our products from industries such as retail for new applications, namely COVID related. However, we have been working with select retail business for a while, predating COVID and demonstrating that our products bring benefits to customers in the retail industry who invest in them.

One retail customer we have been working with for around 5 years now is Middlebrook Retail & Leisure Park in Bolton. Over the years, they have turned to our portable Variable Message Signs (VMS) to help with wayfinding and traffic management applications across their large site. The use of signs in this location has been essential for communicating with drivers and customers across the site, helping to minimise traffic and issues.

This year, however, was the truest test of our solutions in the retail environment, where we saw certain stores forced to close on and off since March. Such a situation necessitates clear messaging, especially from retail park site managers, who are required to deal with the level of customer confusion as drivers come to their location.

Our signs are solar powered, requiring no fixed power making them portable. They can also be updated quickly and easily online or via our mobile app, allowing site managers to stay responsive to changes in situations.  

Just like with past deployments, Middlebrook Retail & Leisure Park used our VMS A signs to help with wayfinding and traffic management, however more recently, they were used to help direct drivers and pedestrians to the stores that were still open in accordance with the government guidelines.

Signs can display text, pictograms or even a combination to allow for the ideal solution that works for the site required. As this was a wayfinding application, our signs were able to display store names with directional arrows to help direct drivers the correct way for the relevant store.

Dom Bridge, Operations Manager at MVIS comments, “Over the years we have worked with Middlebrook a few times, but this year especially has been a demanding one for retail. It’s great to be part of the solution that helps keep things flowing smoothly during a time where there is so much uncertainty.”

MVIS VMS makes Impact for COVID-19 Safety

During these highly unusual times, everyone looks to government bodies for advice on what to do and to help keep people safe.

Spreading the right message has never been more important and with the high focus on local initiatives to help combat this virus, local authorities are left holding the responsibility of implementing the right solutions to help keep their area’s COVID levels as low as possible. The tasks of those areas currently facing local lockdown restrictions such as Bolton and the North East of England (to name but a few) is even bigger, as they are also charged with the responsibility of communicating their specific area’s lockdown rules rather than just guidance. 

Nothing has had a bigger impact in any sense this year than COVID-19, and with any high impact problem, you need a high impact solution to help manage it. Local authorities all over the UK have been turning to MVIS and our Portable Variable Message Signs (VMS) for help.

Not only this, but the media has also seen an opportunity for the potential of our VMS to put across a stark and important message through their photography, with a few deployments in particular receiving national media attention to help promote their news.

At least until such times as we have a vaccine widely available, one of the most powerful tools we have against this virus is information, bringing our portable VMS to forefront of the effort for the media and local authorities. VMS are often used in Hollywood and TV in disaster situations for this exact application – and with the world heading deeper into a state of emergency, we are seeing this become a reality before us.

With the ability to change messages remotely via web browser or mobile app, our signs can be updated safely without requiring anyone on-site. They can also be updated quickly and easily, allowing local authorities to be responsive to the changing guidance.

Our sign’s portability and solar power credentials make their responsiveness even more important, offering a moveable solution that gives the option of being able to relocate signs to new hot spots without having to worry about a fixed power supply.

One of the other aspects of our signs is their colour options. With the opportunity to display messages in multiple colours, local authorities and site managers are able to avoid the risk of ‘sign blindness’ that can occur with the use of the common amber message text sometimes seen on signs deployed for roadworks.

please ensure social distancing

Putting messages and backgrounds in different colours can help the text make extra impact as well as provide emphasis, increasing the chances it will be seen and most importantly read.

The use of colour can also be a powerful indicator to the public to convey and reinforce different types of messages, such as red for unsafe actions and green for safe actions, or a combination of colours to catch attention and try to influence certain types of behaviour, for example.

covid-19 do not mix with other households

As well as the opportunity to use different colours, our signs are also ideally used to display pictograms, which for foot traffic in urban areas can be highly effective for conveying critical messages.

hand face space

Another important factor that has allowed MVIS to step up to this challenge has been our fleet size and product range. With the largest fleet of VMS in the UK, MVIS are able to meet the demand that is currently coming our way, with not only the necessary numbers needed, but also being able to offer 3 different sizes of VMS to local authorities so they can use the appropriate sized sign for the specific audience, deployment and objective.

Whilst MVIS can deliver these helpful solutions, we specifically do so with premium level service, bringing our high-speed expertise and focus on compliance to local authorities, who may not be used to the same level of ‘all encompassing’ service that we provide. It is well known within the industry that working with MVIS takes concerns away from our clients, as we often go above and beyond in our service, offering 24/7 support, consultancy on deployment and ensuring the right unit is being used for the right job.

Join many local authorities in the UK and hire with MVIS today to be confident that your area’s COVID-19 information is being communicated by quality products in the care of experts.

For more information about our solutions or if you would like to know more about how you can use our products to help with crowd control, social distancing or queue management, please contact us via our contact form.

Alternatively, you can email us via

Using ITS Technology for Crowd Control

COVID-19 has presented a number of issues for councils and those who manage sites open to the public. 2020 has seen some of the biggest changes to the way we operate as a society in our lifetimes and as a result, our needs changes with them.

Traditionally, portable ITS technology such as Variable Message Signs (VMS) or CCTV have been deployed and used for traffic management and events, offering important information that people need to stay safe. 

The use of our technology for crowd control is not a new idea. Indeed, we have always applied our solutions to applications that require the management of pedestrians. A large part of this is found in the events industry, where our portable VMS, CCTV, ANPR and Data Collection solutions have been used with great success. Our products have been tried and tested on some of the biggest events in the country such as the 2012 OlympicsBrighton PrideV FestivalSilverstone and The Grand National.

However, in the wake of the pandemic, the risks presented in public areas becomes a major concern for everyone. In these areas, we can use our technology for the same applications they were designed for, but with a different focus, helping us live in a world with COVID-19 safely. 

Important Notices

One of the key uses of our technology is to communicate.

Our solar powered, portable signs offer a platform to communicate to the public at a time when information is critical. With a range of signs in different sizes, our portable VMS are an ideal solution for public safety information, such as enforcing social distancing, closing roads or buildings, or even establishing lockdown barriers – if it comes to that. 

A world with COVID-19 remains unpredictable and one of the biggest issues with that, is the information keeps changing. 

No sooner had councils and businesses purchased static signs enforcing a 2m distance policy, the government lowers the policy to 1m, producing waste.

Using a VMS, the message can be changed in seconds without even needing to be on site.

This versatility – along with its portability – offers incredible added-value to the unit. 

Another issue we are facing is the abuse of some of the UK’s beauty spots. The heatwave towards the end of June 2020 spelled a disaster for our seasides in Bournemouth, Exmouth and other areas, which were swamped with visitors who brought with them a lot of litter.

By deploying one of our signs in these beauty spots, it serves as a visual reminder for visitors to take their litter home with them.


Wayfinding / Marshalling 

With such a huge disruption in the way we move and certain businesses phasing in their reopening, there is a lot of confusion for travelers and shoppers right now. 

Portable VMS can be deployed to help clear up this confusion by directing people to the right places, or announcing reopening. 

A common application we see in events, our signs deliver a clear message in text or pictograms that can’t be missed.


Queue Management

Our journey time solutions help to combat traffic queues by relaying estimated journey time to the driver so they can plan accordingly, helping to minimise frustration and confusion on our roads. 

Tom-Tom Journey Time Solution 

With the successful use of estimated queue times in the hospitality and events industry as a queue calming measure, we can apply this logic to the use of our signs on the high street, for example.

Our HD Compact VMS offers a solar powered, portable VMS with a small footprint that would apply perfectly to a queuing system, helping keep order in busy retail or service areas. 


Surveillance / Enforcement

The Visitor Information & Management System uses an effective combination of our portable, solar powered VMS and CCTV  to offer a surveillance / feedback system for site managers. Opening up the ability to monitor their scope of responsibility, site managers can react to issues by updating the sign via browser or our app to remind visitors of the rules, or indeed that they are being watched, for example. 

Using these products together in this way helps to bring out the best of both solutions, forming a highly effective site management system that can be operated remotely.   


Our latest CCTV solution, developed in partnership with 360 Vision Technology even offers incredible low light capabilities, which may be useful in areas where night time activity becomes a concern. 

For more information about our solutions or if you would like to know more about how you can use our products to help with crowd control, social distancing or queue management, please contact us via our contact form.

Alternatively, you can call us on 01629 580 570 to speak to one of our friendly team, or you can email us via

Setting customer expectations with ITS technology

As the world changes in response to COVID-19, our use of technology changes with it, offering new and helpful ways to not only combat the virus, but also offering new ways we can live with it.

MVIS have been working hard with a wide range of industries to develop new products using our technology in order to help with the effort, establishing ground-breaking solutions for problems that didn’t exist in such scale only a few months ago.

One industry we have been working very closely with is the retail sector, who, in the wake of this have very different technological requirements to what they had only a few months ago. In a world with COVID-19, the retail industry has a big responsibility to society to do what they can to ensure that the virus is not being spread in their buildings.

As a result, stores around the country have started to adapt, installing measures to help enforce social distancing as well as for a range of other requirements. Needs related to increased demand with Click and Collect, new queuing systems and even communicating specific information such as ‘card payments only’ have become, at least in the short term, a huge priority for these businesses.  

In identifying these needs, MVIS and Bartco UK developed a solution and offer a wider range of products that can help with these issues. Possibly the biggest issue logistically that retail stores currently have is in relation to queue management. It is a well-known occurrence that increased queue time can also increase frustration and anxiety in customers, which is not ideal customer psychology, especially when shoppers are already anxious and nervous.

Providing waiting customers with estimated queue wait times has already been proven successful in traffic management applications and the events industry, however it’s not usually an issue faced by the retail industry. With this in mind, our new Queue Management Solution offers the retail industry a solid solution under COVID-19 conditions using our range of VMS.

The Queue Management Solution uses our dual-colour HD Compact VMS (variable message sign) to communicate queue wait times to waiting customers in conjunction with our solar powered VMS-A to communicate information to drivers. The HD Compact’s portability and small footprint makes it an ideal queue management solution, especially in areas where space is limited. When placed strategically along the side of the queue, stores can keep customers informed and manage their expectations to help minimise frustration before customers enter the premises.

Queue management can also be achieved using the VMS-A in areas with more space. Whilst the HD Compact’s selling point is its small size, the VMS-A allows for more complex messages and may also reach a larger number of customers due to its size, making it ideal for car parks and larger stores. Such messages may encompass new store opening times, the store’s social distancing policy or other important information.

The use of the VMS-A in this solution can also help to keep customers informed every step of the way with their visit, being able to be used for a wide range of aspects such as traffic control and pedestrian marshalling.

One of the most innovative uses however has been found in the support of increased demand of Click and Collect, which, in the absence of any customer information, can descend into chaos easily. Using our web-based platform, site managers can update the sign’s message within seconds to call forward the next customer when their order is ready.

Whilst we learn to deal with COVID-19 both as an economy and as a society, more technological solutions will be employed to help us deal with the hostile circumstances we find ourselves in. This solution, and those we have developed alongside it, represents a step change in how we continue to use our technology to keep Britain informed during a time when information is of critical importance.

For more information about our solutions or if you would like to know more about how you can use our products to help with social distancing or queue management, please contact us via our contact form.


Alternatively, you can call us on 01629 580 570 to speak to one of our friendly team, or you can email us via



Product Spotlight: HD Compact VMS

MVIS’ HD Compact VMS was the first temporary variable message sign (VMS) designed for use within work zones in order to improve safety and for public information.

We have a good reputation in the industry for working with government sectors and traffic management companies in developing innovative products that meet specific requirements. This high definition, dual colour (red and white) unit is no exception, having been developed with certain requirements in mind as a result of market research we conducted with our customers.

Weighing below 10kg, this unit can be installed on existing street furniture or on its own battery box and post. Also available in a mains-powered format or with battery and solar power, the HD Compact VMS can be used for portable, temporary applications or in a fixed, permanent context on urban highways.

As if this unit isn’t innovative enough, MVIS’ HD Compact went on to spark a revolution in the industry, leading to competing iterations of this product appearing on the market. However, in true MVIS / Bartco UK fashion, our unit is separated from copies by its ingenious data collection radar than can be used to identify traffic trends.

The implications of this are significant, especially following the COVID-19 outbreak. Data as a commodity in the name of safety is a highly valuable asset that’s only becoming more important as local authorities, traffic management companies and many other groups are eager to understand more about traffic trends during this time to learn about the impact of COVID-19.

Data, however, has always been important for identifying trends and risks, and the HD Compact offers this feature as standard, making it a low cost, multi-functional solution to alternative data collection units and other VMS.

Since the launch of the HD Compact in 2016, MVIS have gathered enough feedback from customers to continue significant and meaningful development of this unit, leading to some exciting news due to be announced by MVIS and Bartco UK this year pertaining to the features and functionality of this already innovative unit.

For more information about our HD Compact or if you would like to know more about how you can use our units to help with social distancing or data collection, please contact us via our contact form.

Alternatively, you can call us on 01629 580 570 to speak to one of our friendly team, or you can email us via