Radio traffic news

I know 774’s traffic and train updates are done directly in the studio (I saw it happen when I was in there the other week). Channel 10’s are done from a helicopter — you get to see the lady in it as she talks.

What about the other radio stations? Many of them make it sound like someone’s on a mobile phone somewhere, but do they really go to the expense of having someone out there in a chopper (which would only let them see a portion of the traffic), or is it just someone on a phone from an office somewhere reading off the VicRoads TrafficInfo web site?

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “Radio traffic news”

For some reason they all seem to have someone ring them from somewhere, probably the room next door, to make it sound like they’re out there checking the streets themselves. It’s hard to listen to, so I don’t. But I do listen to Brad McKenzie on 3LO because he puts some humour in it and he’s not pretending to be outside.

Some stations share the same script with the same woman reading it, but she reads it separately for each station. She probably does it by phone from wherever her office is.

They used to ring the VicRoads control centre to get their information (10 years ago) but it was a pain in the bum (from the point of view of the VicRoads staff) so now they would just monitor various traffic info web sites.

Most are a combination of the VicRoads website and phoned in traffic reports from listeners, read out by someone elsewhere. Radio budgets are tighter than a fish’s bum so I can’t see them spending $ to impress the listers if there was a cheaper way around it.

I was involved in community radio for a brief while a few years back and I know that they simply grabbed it from the Vicroads website, free and easy, as well as asking listeners to phone in report adhoc stuff.

I also listen to 774, and wish they would standardise the way they report the train lines as it seems somewhat of a hotch potch they way they do it.

I do love how sometimes they will report on a train that’s running late from Parliament. What train starts at Parliament?

I was doing some work at Queensland’s Main Roads Dept Traffic Control Center in Brisbane a few years back and the guy was sitting up the back, on a CB radio style of thing, doing the report from inside. I heard him say “Hi this is Jase in the Triple M Sky Patrol” and I thought “no your not, your right here”

They certainly weren’t flying around then.

IS the guy from C10 (and C7) really in a helicopter? I have yet to see any conclusive evidence that couldn’t VERY easily be faked. I think maybe it’s just pretend.

Channel 7 do a live cross from the VicRoads Traffic Management Centre most weekday mornings (Vanessa is a honey!!!! ).
As for Gold and a couple of the others they their traffic person sitting in the TMC as well sitting up the back of room behind the main consoles.
The Australian Traffic Network takes a feed from the various state Road Authority websites and other places.
Does anyone remember Brad Howton (sp??) from the old 3TT(when it was on AM) and Fox FM days back in the late 80’s and early 90’s? IMO he was probably one of the best traffic reporters around.
I think some of the current ones have tried to imitate his style.
Not sure if was him that started off the practice of getting listeners to ring in with their own reports.

Btw how many of the radio stations do that these days beside 3LO??

Nathan (April 22nd) i read with interest your point on the train cancellations. i am one of the traffic folk at 774, how would you like to see the train reports done as it’s to our benefit to do it in a way you’ll keep listening. Aas far as the whole Parliament station thing goes, that is the info we are given by Connex, it doesn’t make any sense at all. Thanks for your feedback, the more we hear the better we can do it

Brad 774 (views expressed not those of management blah blah blah)

Brad, I don’t know if Nathan would notice your comment here, but I’ll let him know. I might email you myself with some thoughts. Ta.

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