A targeted consultation process with local citizens and businesses located along a specific bus route is currently underway to engage public opinion on Utrecht’s proposed measure to speed up public transport in the northern part of Utrecht. The CIVITAS MIMOSA measure known as ‘OVervecht: Quick & Reliable’, (OV means public transport in Dutch) contains measures to increase the speed and reliability of public transport in the area and in turn increase the use of public transport.
Buses that travel between the centre and the northern part of the city are frequently delayed, especially during rush hour. This results in a reduced reliability of buses on these routes. The main objective of the project is to decrease travel times by 25% between 2010 and 2020. The focus of the consultation has been to collect relevant views and find out possible weaknesses in the study, so the city council can make a balanced decision about the proposed measures. The consultation was announced in local papers and by direct mail. Stakeholders responded by letter or e-mail. To further strengthen the consultation process, a walk-in session was organised, so people could ask the project manager and traffic specialist questions before giving their opinion. Over a dozen people responded to this. It is expected that Utrecht city council will make a decision on the study in May 2011. Looking forward, stakeholders will be invited again to participate in the demonstration phase of measures. The OVervecht measure is an important programme in that it covers the full scope of observation, research, consulting, and planning to the implementation of the “quality upgrade” measures.
Author: Martine Sluijter