Building on the evidence from the Initial Integrated Rail and Initial Major Roads Reports, TfN has defined nine Strategic Development Corridors (SDC). These include Northern Powerhouse Rail, Integrated and Smart Travel Solutions, and seven geographic connectivity priorities that reflect the economic links across the North. Traverse is partnering with engineering consultancy WSP to lead on stakeholder engagement for two of these multi-modal corridor studies:
- Connecting the Energy Coasts and
- Central Pennines.
A third study, West and Wales, is being led by Jacobs. In order to avoid duplication and coordinate our work, we have worked closely with Jacobs around the design and implementation of stakeholder engagement across all three studies.
The objectives of the first two phases of the work were to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the SDC programme and how they can be involved; that key stakeholders had agreed the objectives for the SDC by December 2017; and to obtain ‘insight and intelligence’ from stakeholders to influence the appraisal of possible interventions.
Stakeholder mapping and categorisation
Working with TfN, WSP and Jacobs, we began with a stakeholder mapping exercise, identifying the wide range of stakeholders we would need to reach in order to inform them about – and involve them in – the study.
We assembled up to date stakeholder databases, generated stakeholder categories based on agreed criteria and developed a communications and engagement plan to guide our programme of activity with each category.
Communications were tailored to those different stakeholders, who were drawn from across the public, private and community sectors, organised into categories which informed the ways in which they were invited to engage and at what stage. Stakeholders were also drawn from across transport modes as the studies were multi-modal in their scope, including road, rail and ferries and ports, and encompassing consideration of the role of park and ride, active travel and intelligent transport systems.
We organised and undertook a series of scoping interviews with representatives of major employers and sectors, as well as with government agencies and some local authorities. These explored what people’s engagement has been with TfN and what they know about its remit; helped us to understand the most important issues for stakeholders in relation to the corridor; and understanding people’s support for different schemes and priorities around timescales and sequencing.
We designed and facilitated a first round of workshop events across the North – three to four in each corridor. Hosting up to 50 stakeholders, these events enabled people to find out about the corridor studies and give their views on transport challenges, schemes, priorities and inter-dependencies.
Feedback from the scoping interviews and first round of workshop events were compiled into an interim report which helped to generate a long list of potential schemes. At a second round of workshop events, designed to coincide with TfN roadshows on the Strategic Transport Plan, we invited stakeholders back to hear about that long list, how it was developed and the next steps.
The third phase of the work has been postponed by TfN in order that it can dovetail with other stakeholder work in early 2019. This will bring stakeholders back together to update them on the planned interventions and explore how local businesses and organisations can help to make the case for those schemes within the region and nationally.