This is a summary of the recent efforts of TfGM concerning their stakeholder engagement & capacity building activities related to the two topics of travelling to healthcare sites & football matchday travel. A detailed summary was created for internal purposes.

Information related to live information in NHS facilities & stakeholder activities
A number of citizen and stakeholder engagement activities have taken place related to the REFORM project in Greater Manchester thus far in 2022. These activities have focused on patient and staff travel to healthcare sites, as well as on football match day travel. Both activities are in line with the wider context of the project – shifting journeys to active and public transport modes by improving provision of those services and their related travel information, whilst the latter has the additional goal of reducing carbon emissions from healthcare staff and patient travel to achieve wider Government and National Health Service (NHS) objectives.

In February, representatives from TfGM’s Customer Journeys and Active Travel teams visited Wigan to meet with the Environment and Sustainability Manager from the local hospital, Royal Albert Edward Infirmary. This visit began with a journey from one of Wigan’s rail stations to the hospital on foot, followed by an investigation of the existing public transport provision and Customer Travel Information (CTI) at stops nearby to the site, as well as an overview of the crowding issues at on-site car parking facilities for patients and staff. The team was then shown more about the hospital’s initiatives to increase and improve on-site cycle parking provision and related facilities for their staff. 

On 29 and 30 March, online citizen engagement sessions were held in order to gather more information about patient travel to healthcare sites via public transport and active modes. As part of these sessions, a number of healthcare stakeholders in Greater Manchester were also invited to the sessions so they could both observe and contribute to the discussions. Those stakeholders included representatives from local hospitals, GP surgeries, leisure trusts, community and other healthcare related organisations (such as the Stroke Association).

The overarching goal of the Capacity Building workshop was to show representatives from each trust how they can improve real-time bus departure information to benefit patients and staff at their facilities, in order to help realise the wider environmental goals previously mentioned. An overview of the pilot project undertaken at Wigan Hospital for the installation of real-time bus departure screens was then highlighted, followed by a demonstration of the potential to provide travel information on patient appointment letters. The new dedicated TfGM hospital travel webpages that have been created for each of the hospitals was then showcased, along with those pages’ connection to the information provided on patient letters.

Activities related to football matchday travel

In relation to football matchday travel, TfGM staff attended Manchester United Football Club’s annual ‘Fans Forum’ event at Old Trafford Stadium in April. This marked the first time that TfGM was invited to the club’s fans forum as a stakeholder, with the purpose of updating the club representatives and fans in attendance on the performance of the transport network over the current season. This included detailing the various reasons and impacts of incidents and disruption.

A further update was also provided on the upcoming scheme and works that will likely impact football fixtures in the upcoming season, which will begin in August 2022. There was also an opportunity for supporters attending the event to raise concerns and issues experienced when travelling to and from football matches, such as the withdrawal of the previous matchday shuttle bus service, local road closures, taxi driver behaviour and lack of high capacity Metrolink tram services.

As a continuation of this work, TFGM’s Operations and Customer Journeys teams will continue to liaise  and work closely with Manchester United, as well as Manchester’s other Premier League Football club (Manchester City) in order to facilitate and improve customer travel information and service provision for the upcoming season, which begins in August. This will help to work towards achieving wider goals of facilitating journeys to and from matches via public transport and active modes.

In the meantime, a meeting took place in early July with the stadium redevelopment contractor at Old Trafford, which was attended by staff from TfGM’s Customer Journeys and Operations departments. Still in the early stages of the redevelopment process, this meeting looked at how best we could work together throughout the process in the coming years to ensure that matchday travel demand is properly addressed during and after the development.