Headlines: March 15th, 2004

More local authorities are unveiling on street information points giving people access to everything from council services and transport information to weather reports and links to football club websites.Five councils in the north east of England are backing a scheme for 40 special kiosks, known as i+ Points, and Liverpool is introducing pavement pods to connect everybody to the city’s culture and put the city in the premier league of tourist-friendly European cities.

The open:tyne&wear service will be available in Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland and the kiosks, which will be available from the end of this month, will provide information from all five councils. In addition to giving access to council services, they will provide tourist information, such as places to visit, accommodation and nightlife, job postings, BBC news and sport, transport information, a link to Crimestoppers, weather reports, a missing persons help line and free outward e-mail.

Liverpool’s pods will allow people to find information on a large range of council services and to contact the council online round the clock. There will be information on events linked to the city’s Capital of Culture status, and details of sporting activities, including links to the official Liverpool and Everton football club websites. There will also be an opportunity for people to book tickets for events

The first six 11-foot high pods will be in place by next month in a quarter of a million pound pilot project. The city council has plans for 100 of them in all.