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Timeline: Traffic news radio station could become permanent

Traffic news radio station could become permanent was a headline from The Irish Times dated May 5th 1999.

Irish Times – May 5th 1999

Traffic news radio station could become permanent

Travel FM, Dublin’s newest radio station providing 24-hour traffic information, could become a permanent service if it proves successful, according to the station’s organisers.

Mr Owen Keegan, director of traffic for Dublin Corporation, which is running the temporary station along with the Garda, said that “having put so much effort into developing this, obviously we hope it will have some sort of future”. They would first have to prove there was a demand from motorists for the service.

The station, which has cost £125,000 to develop, will begin broadcasting next Monday. It will operate on a pilot basis for eight weeks on 106.8 FM.

Using Corporation CCTV cameras and the Garda helicopter, the station will provide information on traffic congestion and accidents, delays caused by special events such as football matches or concerts and parking availability in multi-storey car parks.

It will also broadcast reports from Aer Rianta on traffic conditions and parking availability at Dublin Airport, and details of Dublin Bus, Iarnrod Eireann suburban rail and DART services, as well as information on ferry sailings into Dublin Port and Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Announcing the station yesterday, Mr Keegan said it might, in the future, provide other public service information from warnings on water shortages to details on the playability of corporation football pitches.

He stressed it was “not an entertainment channel” but it would broadcast music during off-peak hours, between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Rather than providing the information through live presenters, the station will use pre-recorded voices. Thousands of traffic-related words and phrases have already been saved on computer and will be pieced together to provide continuous reports.

While the corporation paid tribute to AA Roadwatch for making “a major contribution” to improving access to traffic information, it said the motoring body was able to provide only limited reports because of restricted broadcasting times. In addition, there could be significant delays in broadcasting relevant information. Mr Keegan encouraged other radio stations to use the information from Travel FM if they wished.

The Garda Commissioner, Mr Pat Byrne, said the initiative would not put any extra strain on the Garda helicopter or on gardai who will be asked to provide traffic information to a central unit. “If there was some urgent operation the helicopter would be immediately deployed to deal with it,” he stressed.

Bust-up on the air

Two Breakfast Show co-hosts on a local station in England fell out live on air on Thursday, prompting one of them to storm out of the studio. The row started during a discussion on their programme on Plymouth Sound about customer service. Martin Mills claimed that there was an obligation on shops to give refunds for undamaged goods. However, Vicky Compton was certain that there was none.

Two Breakfast Show co-hosts on a local station in England fell out live on air on Thursday, prompting one of them to storm out of the studio. The row started during a discussion on their programme on Plymouth Sound about customer service. Martin Mills claimed that there was an obligation on shops to give refunds for undamaged goods. However, Vicky Compton was certain that there was none.

A caller rang in to support the female presenter, prompting Mills to ask her if she was “another whinging woman” and then accused her of “spouting emotional crap”. Although a trading standards officer had already confirmed that Mills was right, Compton was enraged at his treatment of both her and the caller. She accused her co-host of being opinionated and “always having to be right”. She slammed down her headphones in disgust and left the studio, with Mills advising her to “put the kettle on while you’re out there.”

He carried on, continually making comments and refusing to apologise. At this point Gavin Marshall, the programme controller, took over, sending Mills home.
Although the pair haven’t been suspended, they refuse to make up and have been ordered to stay off the air until they cool down. Both have confirmed, however, that they will be back on air on Monday. She has admitted to being nervous about her return, but Mills continues to be outspoken.
He said: “I’m sorry I upset Vicky, but at the end of the day I was actually right. Someone accused me of not liking women — that’s rubbish, I love women. I’ve got five of them: one to do the cooking, one to do the cleaning, one to sleep with . . .”

New station for Tallaght launches this weekend

A new temporary licensed station Radio Tallaght, which is a project by Tallaght Community Arts and Tallaght Radio Forum, will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM from this weekend. The new station will be on air between 11am and 6pm from Rua Red, the new South Dublin County Arts Centre, over six weekends in 2009 and will feature programmes created and presented by people from the many diverse communities of Tallaght, many sitting behind a microphone for the first time.

A new temporary licensed station Radio Tallaght, which is a project by Tallaght Community Arts and Tallaght Radio Forum, will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM from this weekend. The new station will be on air between 11am and 6pm from Rua Red, the new South Dublin County Arts Centre, over six weekends in 2009 and will feature programmes created and presented by people from the many diverse communities of Tallaght, many sitting behind a microphone for the first time.
The launch poster

The wide variety of programming and the perspectives covered over the six weekends of broadcasting include ‘My Story’, personal stories narrated by Tallaght people from various cultures, race and age; ‘DJ Challenge’, where a senior citizen and a young person play their individual music choices and exchange musical stories; ‘Sounds of Tallaght’, an audio tour of Tallaght with local historian Tomás Maher, and much much more.

The station is currently being programmed by Artist and Creative Producer, Patricia Baker, who has previously set up and operated Radio On, a temporary arts-focused radio station in Cork City in 2007, and Ralph McGarry. This project is the seventh temporary station he has set up/programmed.

Patricia Baker noted: “Radio Tallaght’s aim is to be a voice for the many diverse communities of Tallaght, to celebrate, explore and connect Tallaght’s rich diversity of environment, culture and people, through the medium of community radio. Tallaght Community Arts is delighted to partner with Tallaght Radio Forum on this exciting project and we look forward to all six broadcasts this year.”

Radio Tallaght will work within a critically-engaged community arts practice context and provide a facility for cultural democracy. It will make a significant contribution to reviving the democratic imagination by identifying work that supports citizens as engaged and collectively organised producers rather than passive, individualised consumers.

Tallaght Radio Forum is a group of community enthusiasts who have an interest in radio as a means of community development. It was set up in 2008, initially to bring together interested individuals and groups to explore the concept of community radio.

Radio Tallaght will broadcast on 99.1MHz FM, from 11am to 6pm, on the following dates: January 17th and 18th, March 21st and 22nd, June 20th and 21st, September 19th and 20th, October 17th and 18th, and December 19th and 20th.