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Active Travel in Wales – engagement and communication is crucial, webinar attendees told

Active Travel in Wales – engagement and communication is crucial, webinar attendees told

Transport infrastructures are not viable, however innovative they may be, if people don’t use them. Our recent webinar on making the active travel infrastructure work in Wales showed how mass engagement can be achieved, through a unique combination of BetterPoints behaviour change technology, communication delivered through the transport consultancy, Ansons Consulting, and local transport expert, Rhian Lewis.

Rhian, an Independent Transport and Engagement Consultant, kicked off the webinar by putting it in the context of the huge ambition set out Llwybr Newydd, Wales’ transport strategy for 2021, and the opportunity to embed active travel across Wales by joining infrastructure with sustained transport behaviour change.

Richard Kirk, CEO of BetterPoints Ltd, described how the BetterPoints model delivers a continuous cycle of rewards, gamification, automatic tracking, and message plans to motivate and maintain new behaviours. He explained how programmes are built to local requirements, including how they can target specific routes and areas through geofencing, and how the system generates large amounts of data for analysis – such as graphs, charts and heatmaps that show how people use the network, what incentives work best, and where the barriers are.

John Pinkard, Managing Director of Ansons Consulting Ltd, set out how target audiences are engaged through tailored outreach and promotion, and how the local context informs the design of an intervention – such as demographics, employment sectors and practices, services and amenities, and access to equipment such as bicycles.

The communication element is critical, Richard told attendees. For these interventions to really be successful, they require a strong, joined-up communications plan that is in ‘constant launch mode’, and long-term commitment; otherwise, any benefits will be short-term and there will be no lasting behaviour change.

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