Sponsored by BAA Heathrow
Integrated transport is an important part of current UK transport policy. Persuading people to adopt multi-modal or multi-operator journeys brings increased patronage, reducing pressure on congested road space and utilising the transport system more efficiently and sustainably.
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, and ensuring clear, comprehensive and up-to-date information about routes, services, prices and tickets; and 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 promote successful integrated transport.
Winner: Stagecoach East - Route X1
Rail Link X1 connects the Corby Star bus network (and thus the people of Corby) to Kettering Hospital and to Midland Mainline rail services at Kettering Station.
Route X1 has seen passenger growth of over 30% in 5 months since Stagecoach took over the service from another operator, achieved through targeted marketing, the introduction of a quality low-floor bus product, having well trained bus staff, strict performance targets, and an excellent working relationship with the rail operator.
Reliable connection between the bus and rail services are assured, including delaying departure for the last journey if necessary, and bus times are altered to accommodate changes to the rail timetable at bank holiday times. Ticket machine data, mystery shoppers, feedback sessions with the driving team and weekly KPI reports, shared between the bus and rail operators, are used to monitor the results of the scheme.
The judges felt that the Route X1 project was an excellent example of good down-to-earth public transport integration.
Runner Up: Peterborough - Integrated/Accessible Transport
Integration and accessibility were key priorities to Peterborough City Council following a major service network review by Stagecoach in the area in 2004. The Council and bus company worked in partnership to ensure full connectivity and integration between commercial and subsidised routes, together with investment in vehicles and infrastructure.
Improvements to bus stops and shelters were funded through Local Transport Plan funding streams, complementing new fully-accessible vehicles, bus priority was improved and real-time information installed on some routes. Public awareness was enhanced using an eye-catching livery on the subsidised network and route maps were produced showing all routes.
The judges were impressed by this holistic approach to the network, as well as the Council's associated Travelchoice project, which have delivered passenger growth of 30% in under three years, as well as a reduction of 13% in car trips.
Centro-WMPTA - Network West Midlands
Network West Midlands has been developed from extensive public research and Centro-WMPTA's 20-year public transport strategy. This showed that, despite the multi-modal forms of transport available to users, there was perceived to be a lack of integration, and confusion as to services and responsibilities.
The aim is to address this by having a new brand that connects all public transport in the West Midlands. Simplified, easily-understood signage at all bus stops, shelters, rail and metro stations is complemented by a clearly branded family of tickets. A publicity campaign, including TV advertising, promoted the new branding.
With its partners, Centro-WMPTA is raising awareness of 'smarter travel' choices through 'hearts and minds' promotions complementing Travelwise activity championing sustainable modes of travel.
The judges were impressed by the potential of the Network West Midlands initiative, and look forward to progress reports on the effect of the new brand on public transport ridership and modal shift.
Travel London - Route 441 It's Plane and Easy
Travel London's 441 bus service is 'plane and easy, and shows how integrating local bus with air travel, educational facilities and other local bus services can attract passenger growth.
Following extensive market research, Travel London's service 441 was relaunched in October 2006 with four new enhanced-specification vehicles as part of the Runnymede Quality Bus Partnership with the British Airports Authority, Surrey County Council and the local borough councils.
Route 441 provides links from a number of neighbouring areas into Heathrow Airport for workers and travellers. Aided by a strong marketing campaign emphasising the connections with other bus and coach services at Heathrow Airport as well as the underground and airline services, in its first six months the service recorded an impressive 23.2% growth in passengers, and 32.6% in revenue.