Effective Communication and Engagement

The new era of Local Transport Plans (LTPs) will require increased focus on addressing the challenges associated with climate change, economic growth and new technologies.

Successful delivery of the New Era LTPs will require effective communication and engagement because to be successful they are likely to involve significant adjustment in people’s day to day travel habits including modal shift, frequency of travel and changes in travel destinations.

With all significant change there will be sections of society that need to be convinced that the way forward is the right one and that the changes in their day-to-day habits are justified. Effective, inclusive communication and engagement will be required throughout the development and implementation of the LTP strategies and policies to ensure they are both deliverable and effective in addressing the future environmental, societal, and economic needs of UK. Addressing different segments of society, who have distinct beliefs and priorities in relation to transport, will also be crucial to influencing behaviour – a one size fits all approach to this challenge is unlikely to be effective.

Areas where effective communication and engagement are likely to be required during the LTP process include:

  • Robust, quantifiable research – early engagement with all groups in society, including those who are under-represented, to understand their current travel behaviours, barriers and motivations to changing travel behaviour and their priorities for local transport to inform strategy development.
  • Strategy/policy development – consultation to involve stakeholders in development of a range of policies, strategies and schemes, to ensure all stakeholder groups are included in the decision-making process.
  • Final strategy preparation – detailed public consultation on the final strategy to understand the impacts and benefits of the schemes and policies, as well as providing people with the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals to inform refinement of the final strategy .
  • Behavioural change – engagement and communication about local transport policies needs to be tailored to concerns and priorities of different groups in society to be most effective in bringing about behavioural change. Understanding the motivation for change through engagement will aid in the design of effective initiatives and targeting of investment for the implementation of the strategy.
  • Post implementation monitoring & evaluation – detailed evaluation of the impacts of the LTP proposals, including the impacts on carbon, the economy and behavioural change, will be required to ensure targets are being met and, if required, allow adjustments to the strategies to enhance the impacts of schemes to meet the targets.

Communication and engagement will be an essential part of the next generation LTPs and therefore detailed planning of how this is to be achieved throughout the LTP period should be developed and adhered to at an early stage of its development.

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