Browsing articles in "public transport"
Feb 19, 2014
emilyharrup

Bus users survey results

Bus clip art

It’s taken us a while, but at last we can give you feedback on the bus users survey we undertook back in May 2013.

We had a great response of 882, so thanks to the Uni, 6th form college, Colchester Institute and Colchester Borough Council for taking part.

There was lots of positive feedback with the majority of users being satisfied with the connections of the buses with other local public transport, ease of access of amenities, appearance and greeting/welcome from bus drivers, ease of getting on and off buses, number display etc.
However there were a number of issues highlighted.

The two main issues identified were:

  • Punctuality  – 57% were not satisfied with the punctuality of their bus, however sighted traffic congestion (48%) as the main factor causing the bus to be late
  • Timetable provision – issues of missing/out of date/discrepancies between online and hard copy versions/electronic displays not working and overwhelmingly, 56% said they found it difficult or very difficult to actually navigate the timetables

Other key issues were:

  • Lack of late running services – particularly those buses mainly serving student population
  • Cleanliness of interiors
  • Helpfulness, politeness and friendliness of drivers
  • Seating and shelter at bus stops both in and outside the town centre

Traffic congestion is an ongoing issue,  and a main reason for encouraging more people to use the bus, but it’s a chicken and egg situation, as at the same time it is also a barrier to getting people on the bus in the first place.

We appreciate things may have moved on since we did the survey.  For example ECC are currently working on a project taking over responsibility for all timetables at bus stops.

So we are also in contact with Colchester Bus Users Group (C-Bus) to get their view on the timetable issue as they have been auditing the new timetables that have been going up.

As the majority of feedback was about First buses, we are going to share the results with them and talk to them about the key issues raised.  We have already shared Network Colchester’s results with them.

We will get an update on the telematic screens, plus find out what the policy is from ECC re bus stop facilities.

Overall the survey provided us with lots of useful information that we can use in our efforts to promote bus use so thanks very much to everyone who contributed and apologies for the time taken to feed back the results.

 Here is a summary of the results

 

Jan 20, 2014
emilyharrup

Campaign for Better Transport initiative

portavoce22

Campaign for Better Transport are looking for train users who would like to help them campaign against rising rail fares. You don’t have to go out protesting in the street- it’s just a matter of having a couple of photos taken near Chelmsford Train Station and answering some questions about how rising fares affect you.

The event will take place on Saturday 25th January around 10:30am. If this sounds like something you would like to get involved with, please get in contact with Jess Fitch: jess.fitch@bettertransport.org.uk

Nov 28, 2013
emilyharrup

Public consultation for local bus services

Essex County Council (ECC) is currently holding a public consultation on the bus services they provide. Although these represent only about 15% of the total routes, it is important that you get involved and have your say.

What the consultation aims to do is get the public’s views on the services they run- which ones are the most important to you and why? This comes as the result of a need to reduce the expenditure and focus it in areas where it’s truly needed.

If you would like to read further on this and to contribute with your opinion, follow the link below (please note the consultation ends 9th December 2013):

ECC Bus Review

Apr 22, 2013
emilyharrup

Are you a bus user?

CBC Bus Leaflet-04.02.09-75

We have just launched a bus users survey for members of the Travel Plan Club.

We want to hear back from bus users about your journey to work or to where you study. The survey covers all aspects of your bus experience including your satisfaction with: 

  • Reliability
  • Bus drivers and quality of driving
  • Bus stops
  • The vehicle

Why are we doing the survey? Well in 2013 we want to do more to encourage members to use the bus particularly for their journey to work and studies. However before we do this, we feel we need a better understanding of how existing bus users find local services.

The survey will give us some insight into what is good and not so good about local services and facilities for bus users. We can then use this data for a number of purposes to:

  • Work more closely with the bus operators and high way authority to help improve services
  • Tell others what is good about travelling by bus and to break down some of the barriers that may stop more people from using the bus

The survey is open until the 13 May and takes 5 – 15 minutes to complete depending on whether you regularly use one or more bus operators.

So if you are a bus user we would really welcome your feedback. Thanks for your help.

Here is the bus survey.

 

Apr 11, 2013
emilyharrup

25 March highlights

 

CBC Walking Map-06.04.10-67

Fingers crossed the weather is going to improve  in time for our spring promotions.  This isn’t a photo from this year!

If you didn’t make it to the recent CTPC meeting, here are the highlights. 

May is walking month and kicks off with the internationally renowned Jane’s Walk, more in a blog from David coming soon. For the first time the CTPC will be running its own walk, so please join us. Please share the full programme with your colleagues and encourage them to come along.

Loveurcarcolchester launches it’s ‘Short Trip – Take the Pavement’ campaign in May, you may see billboards around town. There is a £100 shoe voucher prize draw for anyone pledging to swap one of their short car journeys for their feet instead.

Walk to Work week is 13 – 17th May and the University, ECC and CBC will be holding their own walking challenges.

Check out the link, if you want a free fun walking online challenge to get your workmates competing.

On the cycling front the CTPC is planning to develop a local online Bike Challenge this year using funding obtained from ECC last year. Collaboration with the University on this project is being explored.

Cycle Colchester e-newsletters, put together by the CTPC  have been revamped to include much more including infrastructure developments, monthly profile on a local cyclist, useful information, educational content as well as local events.  We will send CTPC members future e-newsletters which we hope you can share with colleagues.

We still have funding to run some cycle confidence training sessions, so if you would like to do some but can’t fund it yourself, get in touch.

A ‘See Me’ campaign is planned for autumn.

We promote cycling all year round but if you want to focus on one specific week, make it Bike Week, June 15 – 23.

Buses! We haven’t done much to promote buses in recent years, we want to do more this year but first we feel we need to get more in touch with how existing bus users find the services they use.

We are putting together a bus users survey to get feedback. If you would like to send it to your bus users and we haven’t yet been in touch, please get in contact.

Results will be used to establish a better dialogue with the bus operators and to tailor our marketing approach.

Survey results and ECC accreditation Several of our members took part in our two yearly travel survey last year. We are still doing the write up, but response rates were significantly higher than in previous years and results were positive. Congratulations to seven of our members, who have gained Essex County Council business Travel Plan accreditation this year. A blog specifically on the survey results and accreditation will be coming soon.

New ideas to pursue Finally, we discussed developing an online sustainable travel challenge which wasn’t just confined to cycling that could be used by CTPC members to encourage travel change. We will be looking for funding sources to pursue this, but will also see how it could be integrated on the back of the Cycle Challenge.

Nov 23, 2012
emilyharrup

Claudia checks out the new bus station.

As you all probably (and hopefully!) know by now, the new bus station has been opened. It has moved on Sunday, the 18th November, from the Temporary Bus Station onQueen Street to the new one on Osborne andStanwell Street.

As a bus frequent bus user myself, I checked out the facilities available. There is the covered waiting lounge, (good for foggy, freezing late-autumn days), additional seating area and improved toilet facilities.

Furthermore, two electronic timetable screens are being put up which will detail all buses, which will be really useful, since I would normally always end up wondering where I can find information about my next bus home (particularly if you can choose from more options, and would have to walk from one bus stop to another to check the times).

For those of you who are interested in a bit of technology, you’ll probably enjoy exploring the information pods, which can give you assistance with journey planning, as well as various pieces of information about the town. They are located in Osborne and Stanwell street. They also enable access to audio announcements for blind and partially-sighted passengers, used in conjunction with the appropriate fobs (available from the Colchester Information Centre).

Finally, there is no need to panic! We have been helping out Colchester Borough Council colleagues on the street talking to people about the changes and the frequent question was whether their bus will continue to service the town centre or not.  And the answer is yes, the buses will still run through the town centre,  so if that is the stop you would usually catch your bus from, then you can continue doing that.

 Link to Colchester Borough Council website for more information

Claudia

Jan 26, 2012
emilyharrup

Full set of spanners at CTPC workshop!

 

Not many schools can boast that cycling is an integral part of their curriculum. The Gilberd School teaches mountain biking and Bikeability within timetabled lessons, holds bike races as part of sports day, and has a weekly bike club. And the headliner is an impressive bike maintenance workshop which is run as a small business and where students can learn bike maintenance as part of a qualification.  With  bikes that don’t work, being one of the main reasons kids don’t cycle to school, The Gilberd’s bike maintenance workshop is about to go mobile and help out at other schools.  Thanks to Roger Springett for hosting January’s CTPC event, and for the tour afterwards which included the bike workshop and facilities plus the impressive shiny new trailer which will soon be transformed into a mobile workshop.

So back to club news:

CTPC Governance: With the winding-down of Colchester2020, Jeremy Lucas (ECC) and Paul Wilkinson (CBC) talked about future governance of the club and member involvement in determining the direction the club goes in and priorities.  Emily and Andrew have always responded and evolved to the needs of the TPC members and are happy to continue doing this. Paul will be organising a workshop for members to discuss governance issues/priorities etc. All agreed that any opportunity to bid for funding should be taken advantage of to help ongoing funding of the CTPC and new projects.

Summer Cycling Promotions: Get your costed ideas for promotions within your workplace into Andrew and Emily by the beginning of February. Funding may be available from ECC for training, events, Dr Bike etc and any new ideas you have. We all liked the Cycle Challenge as a cross CTPC promotion but the cost is an issue, could we develop our own online logging system? One for Andrew and Emily to explore…..

STEPS – Active Travel:  Legs Eleven walking project is still happening, and is expected to be launched in the spring. A decision on ERDF funding is imminent, which will put more funding into this and other NCBP projects.

2012 Events:  We are happy to support you in any events where you are promoting sustainable transport. One highlight in this year’s calender is the  ACTTravelwise’s spring conference  which is being hosted by Charlotte at UofE and has an exciting line up showcasing Transport in the 21st Century. There is a pre-conference event on the 29th March with the main conference on the 30th.  Use the link above to see the full programme and to book your place.

Drive Colchester: £5000 is available to CTPC members to promote car sharing and smarter driving in 2012! A second grant from DEFR has given us this great opportunity for some more bespoke promotions over and above the central project we are currently working on. So please let us have your ideas…. whether it be advanced driving lessons, an on site mechanic, car share matching events, Love Your Car promotions, bespoke publicity material, dedicated car share bays or something else…

The central campaign will run over a couple of months starting around mid February, with a short funky film on carsharing and another on smarter driving.  Radio (Heart, Dream, Uni, Garrison, Hospital?-  are there others we can approach??) and billboard campaigns will promote the films and Drive Colchester website, plus publicity in TPC member organisations… watch this space for more info…

Travel Plan Accreditation scheme: Many of our members have achieved a silver and want to go for gold. Survey response rates are the main barrier and Rachel gave us ideas for maximising response rates by offering attractive inventives, offering a paper version, timing the survey to coincide with a change in parking arrangements etc.

Survey time is here again:  We do a full survey across all members every two years, usually in May to measure our progress. Survey results have been good with a year on year 3% decrease in people driving to work and big increases in people mixing their modes.  The challenge this year is to get the high response rate to help our members hit gold, as well as get some robust stats to measure our progress  by.  So we will be talking to members over the next few months on how best to tackle this for their organisation and noted that if we can put the month long survey back or forward a week it will help out the Uni as May clashes with exam time.

Abellio and public transport: Good news that Abellio want to focus on customer service in their 2 year franchise, with their eye keenly set on achieving the franchise in the longer term. This means new dedicated customer service desks at key stations (including Colchester) interest in integrated transport, more user-friendly timetables, marketing of under capacity trains (apparently there are very few that are overcrowded) We have had positive sounds about continuing our discount and hopefully they will be keen to work on some joint marketing of train travel with us. (Conversation today with our current contact at NXEA, Tanya, indicates business as usual from 5th Feb when Abellio take over – she is 99% certain existing discounts will continue.

CTPC public transport promotional material is all set to go, but ticket stock is still awaited from Network Colchester. Tony Mears has gone (Emily met new Regional General Manager Martin Evans after our meeting, hopefully the ticket stock will be appearing very soon so we can get on with our promotions).

ACTTravelwise: The CTPC pays for membership of ACTTravelwise  , who represent and lobbies for sustainable travel and travel planning nationally. Full CTPC members have access via their own log in.  It is a good resource for case studies, events, jobs and includes a forum for posting questions.  Emily will sort out current log ins and passwords.  Another good free resource to sign up to is Ways2Work funded by DfT and focused more on the private sector, with lots of good case studies, advice and best practice.

Helena encouraged us all to sign up  for a Free Business in the Community & ACE conference masterclass promoting health in the workplace, 8th February 09:30 – 13:30, lunch included, at the Holiday Inn in Eight Ash Green.

Thanks, and if you want to know more please get in touch.

Nov 16, 2011
emilyharrup

Three month offer – 25% discount on Plusbus

If you use the train and then a bus for onward travel once you reach Colchester, then take advantage of a three month deal offering 25% off a Plus Bus ticket.

Plusbus offers an add on bus ticket to your rail ticket allowing unlimited travel on any Network Colchester, First or Hedingham bus within the Colchester Urban area (equates to Colchester Inner Zone and includes University, CHUFT and Colchester Zoo).

The discounted Plusbus monthly ticket is avilable from Colchester station ticket office for £48 between6 November 2011 and 31 January 2012. .  The discount, offers a saving of over 70p per day compared to a typical day return bus ticket.

The Plusbus discount, plus all the other station improvements are part of the  Station Travel Plan project, a partnership including CBC, ECC, NEEA and the bus operators,  working together to encourage more sustainable travel to the station.

Improvements for train users also using the bus, include changes to bus timetables and facilities for passengers waiting for buses at the station. Buses are now better coordinated with trains, and new stops and bus timetable information is now installed on the station forecourt.

Find out more about getting the bus to or from the station Getting the bus to the station leaflet

Watch out for our own public transport discounts promotion for TPC members! It is imminent…..!

Nov 9, 2011
Andrew Budd

Inntel – cutting your travel and hotel costs

The Travel Plan Club asks “Is your company still using travel warrants? Do your staff just turn up at the station and get a roll-up price ticket on the company plastic?”

Andrew Budd says of his own experience when booking train trips for hiking in Scotland “You could be paying well over the odds for your journey, with some standard journey tickets up to five times the discount price”.

“Do your employees sometimes stay in hotels? Again, there are some excellent deals out there – are you taking advantage of the best prices, or are the hotels taking advantage of the busy-ness of your business?”

“And how much of your staff time is being taken up searching on the internet for best deals for travel and accommodation, and dealing with travel related paperwork?”

We are all asking questions like these at our businesses, as we seek to make cost savings. Essex County Council had staff in various departments carrying out these tasks, and took a look around at alternative ways of purchasing travel tickets and booking hotels. They chose local company INNTEL who are based near Kelvedon.

Inntel’s Marion Carter and Simon New came to the recent Travel Plan Club Event, and set out what they can offer. Follow the link above to their website, and give if you would like to know more give Marion a call on 07711 939026 or email her at  marion.carter@inntel.co.uk.

Aug 24, 2011
Andrew Budd

“21st Century” national event coming to Colchester

 
‘Transport in the 21st Century’ is the theme of a conference being held at the University of Essex. The event will explore the implications of future transport policy and how sustainable travel interventions will need to advance in order to address the growing environmental demand. Presentations and workshops will showcase developing solutions to achieving reductions in carbon such as the ECOSTARS Fleet Recognition scheme, the Pan European cycle logistics project and the development of high-speed cycle lanes as seen in the Netherlands. Future technology will also feature with a demonstration of developments in mobile phone applications for travel planning. However, enhancements to traditional travel planning interventions will also be highlighted with a new twist on behavioural change and an interactive workshop on motivational interviewing.
 
The event will be run by ACT TravelWise (Association of Commuter Transport) on Friday, 30th March 2012. For more information about this organisation and the Colchester event, check out http://www.acttravelwise.org/home
 
Colchester2020 Travel Plan Club could have some involvement on the day – watch out for details……….
 
(Photo from http://www.care4air.org/eco_stars_profiles.html, we look forward to finding out about your scheme.)
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What’s coming up?

5 - 19 May Colchester Walking Challenge

10 - 25 June Colchester Cycle Challenge

(10 - 17 June National Bike Week)

14 June CTPC members meeting

15 June National Clean Air Day

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