Lessons to learn from one Local Authority that has proven behavioural change

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Blackburn with Darwen received a total of £1.4m from the fund, which has been invested in its BwD CONNECT project – a comprehensive ‘smarter choices’ campaign combined with the provision of improved walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure.

BwD CONNECT was designed to enhance the travel choices presented to some of the most diverse and deprived communities in England, helping to improve access to employment and training opportunities whilst reducing car usage.

With a previously established relationship through the ‘Shared Wheels’ brand – a regional car-sharing scheme run through the Liftshare network – the Council were keen to attribute a portion of the funding to Liftshare’s myPTP product to aid the delivery of their campaign.

myPTP is the first ever planning tool to integrate data for all modes of transport; including walking, cycling, public transport, car-sharing and single occupancy car journeys. Park and Ride is offered as an additional option. It delivers a detailed and interactive personalised travel plan in less than a minute, which can be emailed directly to an individual or viewed online through an interactive page of results.

To begin, the BwD CONNECT project team focused on the six largest businesses in the Blackburn borough. A Travel to Work survey was delivered to over 1,500 staff. As a result, 73% requested and have received myPTPs. To deliver these the bulk upload facility was used. It was found to be an easy-to-use system and a fluid way to get all the information into one place and personalise it. The response to these myPTPs was very positive, with businesses and recipients providing feedback that the tool effectively “highlights that people really do have a choice”.

The businesses involved in this approach found the tool particularly helpful with those employees who were just joining. As a result, they have included the option for receiving a myPTP into their induction processes.

As part of the CONNECT project, multiple methods of distribution were used (workplace and residential) and currently ~1,500 myPTPs have been delivered and based on the planned activity, this will soon be in excess of 2,000. Travel roadshows have been held within each of the six businesses over the past year, delivering myPTPs to staff. The tool is being used as a ‘hook’ as well as a marketing device to further push sustainable travel.

BwD CONNECT has also distributed myPTPs in the community as residential plans and are focusing on the unemployed to overcome travel barriers. They see clear uses within job centres and are looking to offer a myPTP to those searching for employment.

They are also working with training providers such as Bootstrap; focusing on a dual approach – providing training for the long-term unemployed as well as breaking through transport obstacles.

As part of the legacy for myPTP a further Travel to Work survey was distributed to employees at the six businesses targeted and job seekers.

The survey results showed myPTP led to a:

200% increase in the uptake of cycling

100% increase in car-sharing

66.7% increase in train use

37.5% increase in walking

These are ‘long-term’ modal shift results. Many of the survey respondents had received their travel plans 3 months before filling in the survey.

The Council’s internal experience with myPTP is proving positive too with feedback that the tool is…

“very engaging” and from an admin side “it is really easy to produce myPTPs compared to the manual ones we’ve previously compiled and sent out”.

If you would like more information or to discuss how myPTP can help you in your sustainable project, please contact Kate Atkinson on 01603 389321 or email tellmemore@liftshare.com

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