New measures to reduce stress experienced by passengers waiting for a bus are to be introduced in north London, writes Matthew Brace.

Millions should benefit from electronic signs, to be fitted to shelters, which will indicate when the next bus should arrive. More than 400 vehicles are to be fitted with equipment to enable a central computer to pinpoint their position and relay the information.

The technology, known as Countdown, is destined for the Nag's Head area in Holloway, Islington, one of the busiest parts of London for buses. Although the scheme has been under way for two years elsewhere in the capital, the north London phase, due to be introduced in November, will be the first time it has been tested on such a large and complicated network. In all, 170 stops will be equipped in Haringey, Islington and Camden.

An LT spokesman said that in trials, notably along the Uxbridge Road in west London, surveyors found no trace of attempted vandalism.

He added that Countdown had been well received by passengers who felt less anxious waiting for a bus and put the time to good use, often by fitting in a quick visit to shops.