Benefits – Transport
Prelude to a Transport Strategy – First Draft, written by Patrick Warner, Business Development Manager, Brighton & Hove Bus Company.
As preferred Transport partner to the South Down Project, our aim is to support the project team’s vision to provide high quality, innovative, customer focussed passenger transport services. We aim to deliver these in an environmentally sensitive way to meet the needs of those living within the residential properties, employees of businesses and attractions located within and visitors to the sites within the project area.
The South Down Project Team have expressed a desire to investigate the possibility that the completed development may have sustainable travel choices at the core of the design and layout for the project without the need for residents and visitors to depend on running their own cars and we can use not only our local experience, operating bases and large fleet of environmentally friendly buses but also call on our parent group’s diverse resources from around the country and industry leading transport consultancy partners to look at how best a transport solution could be designed to meet their aims.
From the outset we also need to recognise that as the transport strategy for this exciting project develops and evolves, it will need to cater not just for those living, working and visiting the site but will also need to be sensitive to existing residents and users of facilities in the surrounding areas. We therefore recognise that we will be looking to work with principal stakeholders to develop solutions that are in line with their objectives and strategies. These should not be limited to but should definitely include, South Downs National Park Authority, Brighton & Hove City Council, Adur & Worthing Councils, West Sussex County Council and Shoreham Airport.
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Major Goals & Service Standards
- To engage fully with all local stakeholder groups during the planning process.
- To ensure that the services and other integrated forms of transport are well promoted prior to the launch of services.
- To deliver a joined up transport service, linked with all modes of transport.
- To deliver a high frequency of service with links to major destinations within the local area and timed to make convenient transfers to other modes of transport serving longer distance destinations such as airports, ferry ports and trains to London etc.
- To ensure that all bus company staff are fully trained and are able to explain all aspects of how the network works from a customer perspective, helping to advise them on how to make journeys easy to understand and what the best deals are that are available for their needs.
- To offer similar training to any appropriate employees of stakeholder businesses in the area such as; on site businesses or information points, airport staff, college pupil information points etc.
- To ensure that the vast majority of forms of transport used are either ultra-low emission or emit zero emissions.
- To ensure that all vehicles are fully accessible to passengers, with a strong focus on the design, layout and means of boarding/ alighting vehicles and on the training of operational staff required to cater for their customers needs.
- To ensure that the site design is planned in such a way as to encourage use of public transport over the private car.
- To ensure that real time information is easily available both on site in the project area at suitable locations, but also via mobile technology and communications which can be downloaded by the users of services so that they can plan their journeys effectively.
- To ensure that all modes of public transport operated within and to and from the development area, are equipped with free Wi-Fi and USB charge points for phones, tablets and lap top devices, enabling passengers to enjoy maximum convenience whilst they travel.
- To ensure that a wide range of payment options are available to all users with a focus on not only providing good value simple cash or contactless payment for the occasional user but also a selection of discounted products that are available on smart card or smart phone mobile ticket to incentivise regular use and reward loyalty.
- To ensure that the transport operations communicate frequently with users and the wider community in multiple media formats, including but by no means limited to; E-CRM, newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, door to door material and marketing material for attractions.
- To ensure that all transport services for the site are operational from the point at which the first residential properties are occupied which will ensure that the change of travel habits which are much easier to establish when people first move home or change jobs, are achievable at this important point.
- To ensure that full information on how to use the transport services is made available to all users with travel planning advice and accompanied by free taster tickets to incentivise the change in travel habits.
- To ensure that clear channels are established both to monitor service quality and to communicate with customers on an ongoing basis.
It is envisaged that this ‘prelude to a transport strategy’ will evolve and become a more thorough transport strategy document as plans for the site progress. We would be keen to remain close to the project board and their transport consultants and work with them alongside the aforementioned local stakeholders to progress to the development of a forward looking and comprehensive transport strategy for this exciting project.
Business Development Manager,
Brighton and Hove Bus Company.