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Energy for change: Lancashire delivers quality in public transport

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 12:10

The ENERQI project and CIVINET UK & Ireland Network hosted a joint event in Preston on 18th September. The seminar showcased best practise in developing quality public transport services involving public transport operators, local authorities and passenger organisations to an audience of transport industry professionals from across the UK.

Mike Kirby, CIVINET UK & Ireland Network Chair, Lancashire County Council opened the event speaking about the potential for learning within European projects saying that “both ENERQI and CIVINET are good examples of partnership working to achieve common aims”. He said that the ENERQI project was an opportunity to deliver real quality for public transport customers in terms of service provision; a core theme that was reflected throughout the day. Andrew Varley, ENERQI Local Project Manager, Lancashire County Council, spoke about the challenges of the project and in particular the varied approach to changing attitudes towards public transport. He said ENERQI was a “new way of capturing (information about) what customers want – looking at the whole journey experience’. Nigel Eggleton, Director of Sales and Marketing, Transdev Blazefield maintained the theme of the customer experience talking about the ‘challenges’ the public face when travelling by bus, identifying some of the barriers such as cash payment for travel, accessibility to information and the key aim of companies like his to attract customers to travel by bus by offering a higher specification service. He identified via a case study a service that had experienced 3.5% growth as a result of repainting and refurbishing vehicles, improving frequency and making wi-fi available.Chris Hadfield, CIVINET UK & Ireland Network Manager, Lancashire County Council, spoke about CIVITAS and adding value to the programme via CIVINET in “overcoming hurdles and the challenges of implementing (CIVITAS) measures”. He added the lessons learnt from Europe and beyond were wide ranging using two case studies – Biodiesel / biofuels in Graz, Austria and the Curitiba Masterplan, Brazil, to illustrate his point, saying both examples focused on innovation and transferable lessons that applied best practice.David Beer, Passenger Executive, Passenger Focus, returned to the theme of measuring passenger satisfaction in his presentation Passenger Focus: The Passenger View. He noted that “quality is perception” in terms of how passengers assess their travelling experience and is key in measuring ‘success’ in terms of service delivery. He added that this was built on a strong evidence base which complemented the work of ENERQI and the ongoing evaluation of day to day (public transport) service provision. He said it was “refreshing to see the passenger at the centre” of the ENERQI project. He spoke about innovation and the important role it has to play in attracting more passengers to use public transport using the example of a ‘fare planner’ that functions in the same way as a journey planner, but calculates the cost of a journey.Chris Hadfield in summing up the proceedings said that the event had “demonstrated the diversity in the way transport interacts with its environment. Each delivered paper has highlighted in different ways the importance of transport not only to individuals but communities.”

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