WAITING at a bus stop and not knowing if the bus will turn up could become a thing of the past.

Satellite technology will keep the region's passengers informed of delays and expected arrival times.

Information will be sent to display units at key stops and will also be accessible through mobile phones and computers.

The scheme, similar to ones already operating in Cardiff and Aberdeen, is expected to begin in the North-East in the summer.

Satellites track the progress of buses, which emit a radio signal, and the information is compared to the scheduled timetable and used to work out arrival times at stops along the route.

The North-East scheme, which is receiving Government funding, involves several councils, the Tyne and Wear transport executive, transport firm Nexus and bus operators.

A spokesman for Durham County Council said: "There is nothing worse when a bus doesn't turn up. At least with this system you will know how long you are waiting."

The scheme is likely to be introduced gradually, probably starting on key routes and in rural areas. The aim is to cover all routes eventually.

Forty-two buses in Tyne and Wear already use the technology.

A Nexus spokesman said: "We find that people like it. They say it makes the whole experience of bus travel much better.

"From a fear of crime point of view, you can feel a bit vulnerable standing at a bus stop not knowing how long your wait is."