This is the category which recognises and rewards schemes designed to make the bus easier to use in conjunction with other modes of transport, such as trains, metros, trams or aeroplanes - or even, through the use of park and ride schemes, with the private car.
Integration is an important part of current UK transport policy. Persuading people to adopt multi-modal or multi-operator journeys brings increased patronage, reduces pressure on congested road space and utilises the transport system more efficiently.
Integration is about:
- easier and more reliable connections
- safer and more acceptable interchange facilities, with bus, rail and taxi services located close together
- making the best use of advances in technology
- ensuring clear, comprehensive and up-to-date information about routes, services, prices and tickets
- fare and ticketing structures which will preserve and enhance the benefits of more integrated networks.
The integrated, coordinated approach to travel includes active marketing of the wider range of travel opportunities that it enables. The Integration Award will be won by the operator, authority or partnership that has taken exceptional steps to provide and promote successful integrated transport.
The Winners: Nottingham City Transport
Nottingham Unilink - Total Integration
This is a 5-way integrated partnership between Nottingham City Transport, Nottingham Tram, Nottingham City Council and the two major universities in the city - Nottingham Trent and University of Nottingham.
Unilink is the brand name for two high quality bus routes between the city centre and the major university campuses. Ticketing is the main way Unilink achieves integration because, irrespective of how a passenger makes the first journey, there are options that allow availability on Unilink with the one ticket.
Around 25% of passengers transfer to a Unilink service, hence the need for it to be an integrated package and partnership. Integrating Unilink into the existing public transport system was a natural step, so that it formed part of the network and was not seen as a stand-alone service.
This allows full integration of ticketing and ensures the routes are promoted alongside other Nottingham City Transport routes. The city centre offers excellentinterchange on to Unilink whether a passenger arrives on an Nottingham City Transport bus, the tram, a train or competing bus operator’s service.
Nottingham City Council has invested heavily in infrastructure to support Unilink, with bus priority measures, new bus stops, shelters and timetable information, and this has also benefited other passengers on other routes, too..
Runners Up: Stagecoach Yorkshire
Supertram Link: a new commercial bus based tram feeder service for Sheffield
Stagecoach introduced the Supertram Link to connect the Stocksbridge and Oughtibridge areas of Sheffield to the Supertram network. The high frequency bus route has been designed to provide a seamless transfer between modes at the nearest tram stop. There are through tickets for single and multi-trip journeys.
South Yorkshire PTE has put its support behind the new service through upgrades to the Middlewood tram stop. The new Supertram Link is an excellent example of different partners playing to their strengths and showing imaginatively designed and marketed journeys where interchange is perceived as seamless. Plans are now at an advanced stage to expand this type of service to feed other parts of the Supertram network.
Stagecoach North West, Network Chorley
A partnership between Stagecoach North West and Lancashire County Council made a successful bid for Kickstart funds from the Department of Transport, and in July 2006 a new and expanded network of services was launched under the "Network Chorley" banner.
The results of the partnership effort and investment were immediate and impressive. Patronage rose immediately by 15% and climbed every month until March 2007, when growth reached 50%.
Stagecoach in Fife, Airdirect747
Airdirect747 is a bus service that operates between Inverkeithing Rail Station, Ferrytoll Park and Ride and Edinburgh Airport. "Through ticketing" is available on all Stagecoach East Scotland, Citylink and Megabus and First Scotrail services. This allows customers to purchase one convenient ticket, creating a seamless, flexible public transport opportunity from any destination in Scotland to Edinburgh Airport.
Surrey County Council, Horley station bus turnaround and multi-modal interchange
A new £1m multi-modal interchange in the former Horley station car park. Delivered jointly by Surrey County Council and train operator Southern, the facility now boasts two new bus stops and a bus turnaround, a new step-free entrance onto the station's platform 1 , drop-off facilities, sheltered cycle parking, and a high quality car park with spaces for blue badge holders.
Who could be nominated?
Entries were welcomed from transport operators, local authorities and others specifying and securing services, partnerships and tourist agencies.
… and by whom?
Nominations were welcomed from all eligible organisations, and self-nomination was acceptable.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The award has been judged on the effectiveness and quality of the submission, which should:
- Describe the nature of the integrated transport scheme and how it was promoted.
- State which operators and/or authorities (“partners”) are involved and describe their roles. If there is a formal agreement, entires should include a summary.
- Describe how allowances are made for connections and what actions are taken in the event of late running.
- State how the public was consulted about the scheme and describe the mechanisms established for comment and feedback
- Describe the training that staff receive to ensure they appreciate the purpose and special requirements of integrated transport
- State the criteria used to monitor the results of the scheme and supply evidence showing the overall trends in numbers of bus passengers resulting from its introduction, including modal shift if identified.
- State whether the results are likely to be sustainable
- Describe any future plans for further development.
- Include any relevant supporting material.