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Mixed mode travel - Information systems

A document for discussion, with thoughts being put together for what would help us, in Wiltshire, to make better and more educated use of current and future transport systems, for the benefit of ourselves, our business community, our tourist industry, our transport operators, our councils, our quality of life and our environment

Current Systems

Each weekday, around 2,500 people arrive at Chippenham Station by train. But Chippenham Station isn't their final destination - they're destined for shops, businesses, public buildings, homes and tourist attractions and are just using Chippenham as a railhead. How do they decide on how they'll make their onward journeys ... indeed, how do they decide in the first place that they should use rail for part of their journey, and that Chippenham is the best railhead for them?

Telling customers how to get to you is an important issue for businesses right across Wiltshire. There are road planners (such as the AA) to help you if you're driving. There are train and public transport planners (such as Traveline) to help you if you're going by public transport. A few sites such as TransportDirect will offer you private car and public transport options. But we've "missed a trick" here, and we're not providing complete information for travellers who wish to use a mixture of modes; they have to use local knowledge and advise to choose where (and whether) to interface between private and public transport - at BOTH ends of their journey.

Gaps in Current Systems

Let's take some examples of journeys for which the automated systems may not provide the best solution:

1. Let's say that I live at SN10 4LG (that's in the village of West Lavington) and need to visit an office in Central London (let's say at SW1P 4DR). The most integrated travel site - offering me public transport and car, but not combinations, (TransportDirect) offers:

Market Lavington to Westminster - what the travel planner offers


What would *I* do, with local knowledge? I would set off at 09:30, drive to Pewsey station (arriving about 10 O'Clock), catch the 10:18 train to Paddington, tube to St James Park and Walk - estimated arrival time 12:03. Journey time, 2 hours and 33 minutes. No congestion charge to pay. Able to work in the train. No problems parking in Central London.

2. I'm arriving at London Heathrow airport off a TransAtlanic flight and will be able to leave the airport at around 10 a.m; my destination is a training centre in Melksham, at SN12 7NY. Transport Direct offers:




What would *I* do, with local knowledge? I would take that 10:15 coach which takes me to Chippenham. It stops right beside a taxi rank there, at 12:16, and I'll be at the training centre by 12:35 - a saving of 50 minutes, and the removal of a two walks (10 minutes and 15 minutes) which TransportDirect gave me. I really don't want to take an hour and a quarter from arriving in Chippenham - just 6 miles from my destination - to actually getting to the destination, nor do I want to be lugging heavy bags around.

Are mixed mode journeys which fall into these gaps common?

What proportion of journeys are currently undertaken using a mixture of transport modes? Statistics are incredibly hard to find. But some 80% of rail journeys involve transferring to other transport at one end of the journey at least (poll on www.firstgreatwestern.info), and we do have "snapshot" data for the 2,500 people arriving at Chippenham to travel on by train on a weekday in June 2011; the figures are accurate enough to give us a good idea, but have a high margin of sponginess and are rounded.
•   30% drove their car to the station
•   25% arrived at the station on foot
•   10% were dropped off by car ("Kiss and Ride")
•   10% arrived at the station by taxi
•   5% were passengers in other cars from which the driver was travelling
•   5% arrived at the station by bus
•   5% are unknown
•   2% arrived at the station on a bicycle
The following are less that 2%
•   * Arrived on another train
•   * Motorcycle
•   * Park and ride
•   * said "other"
These figures are just one station, and just one day at that station. They show 50% of the travellers through Chippenham station are currently using mixed-mode travel which go beyond the current travel planners surveyed in this document.

So - should travel planners be improved to include mixed-mode journeys when many people are already making such journeys without them? Let's take a look at a practical and possible system, see what it costs and what benefits it might bring.

What could be done - a suggested system (first generation)

User Interface one:

a) A link on a Wiltshire business's web site to "http://www.gettinghere.info/?postcode=SN12+7NY"

This will link to:

b) A page (new window, new tab?) which establishes where the place is and gives local data, through maps, local bus stop / route, local railhead, car park and taxi service data.

On that page, users can link to further details of the various access modes local to the business.

There will also be a form - "I'm coming from"; complete and that will scrape existing travel resources to give

c) Complete Advise on routing via public or drive AND
d) public routing to local transport hubs and drive / taxi beyond.

User interface two:

a) A form at http://www.gettinghere.info/ into which a user in Wiltshire can enter his / her postcode

This will link to (same as User Interface one ;-) )

b) A page (new window, new tab?) which establishes where the place is and gives local data, through maps, local bus stop / route, local railhead, car park and taxi service data.

On that page, users can link to further details of the various access modes local that location

There will also be a form - "I'm going to"; complete and that will scrape existing travel resources to give

c) Complete Advise on routing via public or drive AND
d) public routing to local transport hubs and drive / taxi beyond.

Taking both of these interfaces together, mixed mode journey routing such as described in my initial examples - currently not possible via any single site and with significant knowledge needed, will be practical

Technical Stuff:

Most of the data is already online and maintained; work is needed to integrate it properly. Our own database wise (always the "big question"), we need to set up a system of key public / private transport interchange hubs where people can switch modes. Initial estimates are that we're looking at under 100 locations, spread across Wiltshire and with some at strategic points in nearby counties (Kemble station is a good example). For these points, you're looking at building and maintaining data on:
• Car Parking
• Taxi services
• Car hire facilities
which may be in addition to the regular online resources

Commercial stuff:

The data will need to be licensed / bought - someone's going to have to maintain it and be paid to maintain it, but it's there anyway so it's not a huge "new data" thing. We could be looking at ongoing advertising. I would tend to suggest that the system is seed-funded under LSTF, with a requirement that one end of the route must be within the SWLEP area. However, at the 'cost' of adding in interchange hubs across other areas, it could be expanded with little extra investment to cover the whole of the British Isles.

Subsequent generation:

Step 2 - Provision of extra local information by the businesses linking in, and linkages to nearby businesses ("need a hotel too"?); provision of customer comment and review sections???

We are still in an embryonic world as far as online and integrated travel information is concerned. We need to allow for subsequent generations to give through pricing, ticketing, fallback in the case of operational problems, printable integrated timetables for the whole day for journeys that are made regularly (e.g. if I commute from my home at SN12 7TS to work at BS11 9BN) I need a personalised integrated timetable, and probably driving instructions that vary depending on time of day). Further research is needed as we look ahead, and we must ensure that any system proposed / supplied can take full advantage of further information flows and technologies as they come along.

What benefits will such a system bring?

a) It will allow businesses to help visitors reach them efficiently
b) It will cut down on the number of uninformed pure-car journeys
c) It will increase the use of public transport, especially where such transport is just part of the optimum solution
d) It will have a positive envionmental (CO2) effect
e) It will improve the quality of life by helping people save time
f) It will increase personal choice by ensuring that people know of the options available

Conculsion

The cost of providing the information system, and the incremental cost of maintaining it on top of data that's already maintained, is not huge. The benefits are hard to quantify, but potentially huge (and stretching far beyond Wiltshire!)

Prepared 3rd October 2012 / Graham Ellis (with research data I can reference if requested). Please let me know any feedback.
(written 2012-10-03, updated 2012-10-13)

 
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  [2133] Bigger and better this year! - (2009-04-20)
  [2057] Train and Coach fares from London (and airports) to Melksham - (2009-02-26)
  [2042] Wiltshire Rail Service Update - (2009-02-15)
  [2026] Melksham Climate Friendly Group - (2009-02-05)
  [2024] Carry on Training - in spite of the weather - (2009-02-03)
  [1999] How low can you sink? - (2009-01-17)
  [1966] Background to the TransWilts Train Fiasco - (2008-12-29)
  [1965] How much does a train service actually cost - (2008-12-29)
  [1964] Why hasnt the fiasco been put right - (2008-12-29)
  [1905] A Gold Star for First Great Western Customer Service - (2008-11-24)
  [1858] Camera with night vision, youth with no vision - (2008-10-28)
  [1848] 30th November - Santa Trip from Melksham - (2008-10-19)
  [1757] Preserved railways - struggling to the future? - (2008-08-17)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1708] A Train Service Update for Melksham Party in the Park - (2008-07-13)
  [1616] Not daring to be an anorak - (2008-04-19)
  [1567] Melksham - Swindon. Train v Bus v Car - (2008-03-07)
  [1558] Getting somewhere with the train service - (2008-02-28)
  [1530] Railway Acronyms and Abbreviations - (2008-02-03)
  [1452] Santa on the train to Melksham - (2007-12-01)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1424] Closer than you think - the next step - (2007-11-08)
  [1382] First Great Western - information for customers - (2007-10-07)
  [1358] Look forward with a new broom - Wiltshire Train Service - (2007-09-19)
  [1314] Business travel by train in the USA - (2007-08-22)
  [1303] Heading Upstate New York - (2007-08-14)
  [1291] Day trip to Weymouth - (2007-08-05)
  [1274] Radio coverage for railway issues - (2007-07-23)
  [1273] Melksham or Weymouth? Meal or day out? - (2007-07-23)
  [1228] Some progress on the train campaign - (2007-06-10)
  [1139] Overcrowded trains around Bristol - (2007-04-08)
  [1097] Train and business balls all in the air! - (2007-03-02)
  [1093] Wiltshire Train - can YOU come on 5th March? - (2007-02-25)
  [1076] Save the Train - an update - (2007-02-12)
  [1069] Rail trouble forced me to buy hotel - (2007-02-07)
  [1063] Bradford-on-Avon - 150 years of passenger trains - (2007-02-03)
  [1045] Bang! Train campaign hits home - (2007-01-19)
  [1044] Call for appropriate train services - Swindon, Bristol, Bath, West Wilts, Severn Beach etc - (2007-01-18)
  [1033] Empty at Easleigh, Missing at Melksham, Overflowing at Oldfield - (2007-01-14)
  [976] Santa at the station - (2006-12-09)
  [974] The last commuter train through Melksham - (2006-12-09)
  [952] Coming from London to Melksham by train for a course - (2006-11-28)
  [877] Yes, but what do we do now?? - (2006-09-24)
  [814] Melksham Railway Calendar 2007 - (2006-07-25)
  [803] Not shouting - (2006-07-16)
  [790] Shadow Transport Minister to visit Melksham - (2006-07-02)
  [697] For any North and West Wilts and Swindon Readers - (2006-04-23)
  [688] Are you free on Friday evening? - (2006-04-18)
  [648] West Wilts Railway Users Group and trains to Lacock - (2006-03-16)
  [634] Real chance to make a difference - (2006-03-05)
  [632] Moral dilemma - (2006-03-04)
  [527] Greater Western Franchise Awarded - (2005-12-13)
  [524] Santa comes to Melksham - (2005-12-11)
  [521] Proof needed? Please just use common sense! - (2005-12-08)
  [488] Looking for railway groups and users - Swindon, Salisbury, Southampton - (2005-11-06)
  [486] Rail services under threat - Swindon, Melksham ... and Newquay and Bicester too - (2005-11-05)
  [447] Tomorrow's meeting. - (2005-09-19)
  [434] Through public transport connection, Chippenham to Salisbury, to cease - (2005-09-02)
  [428] Swindon - Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge - Westbury train service - (2005-08-29)
  [154] Railway train service, Melksham station - (2004-12-17)

Z511 - Public Transport - Road
  [4703] What do people use the bus for in Wiltshire - survey interim results. - (2016-07-11)
  [4692] How are bus support payments currently calculated? - (2016-06-07)
  [4690] Buses in Wiltshire - potential changes and where we stand at the moment - (2016-05-30)
  [4683] Saudi Arabia or Weymouth? - (2016-05-22)
  [4670] The end, or the start? - (2016-04-05)
  [4667] Wiltshire Supported Bus consultation - final few days - (2016-03-30)
  [4664] Mallory Place bus stop - services to Bath - (2016-03-25)
  [4660] What is happening on the 231 bus? What are you going to do about it? - (2016-03-04)
  [4654] Getting to the Royal United Hospital - the Hopper and the alternatives - (2016-02-24)
  [4648] Why is bus funding a much hotter topic than a new set of traffic lights? - (2016-02-16)
  [4639] Working out the costs of running a bus service through the day - (2016-02-06)
  [4631] What would the Wiltshire Council bus cuts mean for Melksham? - (2016-01-25)
  [4629] Making travel time useful time on public transport - (2016-01-22)
  [4624] Campaigning for a sensible bus solution and not against anyone! - (2016-01-17)
  [4619] Buses - not about the buses, but about the people who use the buses - (2016-01-10)
  [4615] Questions for First (West of England) - (2016-01-05)
  [4592] A comparison of the public transport alternatives to the Royal United Hospital, Bath - from Melksham. - (2015-12-06)
  [4547] RUH Hopper - experience and thoughts forward - (2015-10-20)
  [4546] Is the RUH hopper a limited, duplicate service running unnecessarily and at high cost? - (2015-10-18)
  [4500] The TransWilts Community Intergrated Transport Corridor - (2015-05-29)
  [4290] National Express replaced by train and by Megabus from Chippenham to London - (2014-07-16)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4257] Over a pound a kilometre - my bus in Weston-super-mare - (2014-04-06)
  [4247] You wait a long time - then buses come in threes. It's timetabled that way! - (2014-03-09)
  [4240] Melksham Rail Link - (2014-01-27)
  [4228] Mallory Place, The Spa, Wellington Drive, Melksham - a Christmas present for you - (2013-12-26)
  [4192] A positive progress behind the scenes - (2013-10-14)
  [4186] Melksham to Bath and Zigzag buses - at a turning point? - (2013-10-06)
  [4181] Grumbling about trains? Buses can be far worse! - (2013-09-29)
  [4179] Changing transport and destinations - looking forward to a good future - (2013-09-19)
  [4171] Mapping road accidents in Melksham and elsewhere too - (2013-09-12)
  [4152] Why are bus fares so high? - (2013-08-18)
  [4149] Bus changes to Bath - good idea, but I despair at information available - (2013-08-08)
  [4143] Bus times - Melksham to Bath from 28th July 2013 - (2013-07-25)
  [4124] Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge bus changes next month - (2013-06-26)
  [4123] New timetables from 28th July - bus routes 271 and 272 - (2013-06-24)
  [4111] Zigzag bus - forward for the future, or decaying service? - (2013-06-09)
  [4108] The painful cost of local travel to Melksham - (2013-06-01)
  [4032] Easier public transport from Melksham to Bristol Airport - (2013-03-06)
  [4023] Melksham to Chippenham (Station) bus services - times and routes - (2013-03-01)
  [3951] Christmas Bus Schedule for Melksham - First Bus - (2012-12-14)
  [3929] Melksham Bus Issues - to be raised at First Bus Customer Panel - (2012-11-21)
  [3877] Public Transport Services - from and to Melksham - (2012-10-01)
  [3866] Celebrate! Buses from Meksham to Bath - (2012-09-18)
  [3850] Bus times - Chippenham Station to Melksham, with London connections - (2012-08-25)
  [3849] New bus times - Melksham to Bath - (2012-08-25)
  [3580] Melksham Area - buses, trains, cycles, and roads. Meeting, 17.1.2012 - (2012-01-15)
  [3523] When competition is not a good idea - Melksham Bus Absurdity - (2011-11-16)
  [3504] Coaches from Trowbridge and Melksham to London - (2011-11-01)
  [3471] Vintage Bus Running Day in Warminster. An example of good bus practise. - (2011-10-09)
  [3404] Buses on the Cambridge Guided Busway - (2011-08-24)
  [3301] Using public transport - USA style - (2011-05-25)
  [3290] Changes (and no changes) at Melksham bus stops - (2011-05-15)
  [3194] Buses - what they cost and their future direction in the SW and in Wiltshire - (2011-03-06)
  [3126] Car Parking in Melksham - thoughts on the proposed scheme, and wider thoughts too - (2011-01-09)
  [2983] Strong arm tactics in the bus industry? Poor result for the customer! - (2010-10-03)
  [2958] What do these road markings mean? Could Confusion Kill? - (2010-09-17)
  [2933] Bath - Melksham - Devizes buses from September - (2010-08-23)
  [2903] Bath to Devizes bus via Melksham - changing again in September - (2010-08-04)
  [2857] Park and Ride at Batheaston - will it solve Wiltshires Ills? - (2010-07-06)
  [2791] Bath to Melksham buses - times - (2010-06-03)
  [2789] Melksham to London (Heathrow, and Central London) - (2010-06-02)
  [2771] Melksham to Calne by public transport - (2010-05-20)
  [2672] Dear Planners, please provide viable alternatives - (2010-03-11)
  [2515] Why we have two buses an hour - but not a half hourly service - (2009-11-28)
  [2431] Moving busstop! - (2009-09-30)
  [2083] Do you support a decent train service? Please sign up! - (2009-03-15)
  [2075] Supporting Parkinsons and Trains - (2009-03-11)
  [1777] The Rise and Rise of First Bus Fares - (2008-08-29)
  [1723] Bath - Melksham - Devizes. Bus route changes, new timetable - (2008-07-26)
  [1668] Talk on TransWilts train service to Green Party - (2008-06-07)
  [1560] HST Power Car TravelWatch SouthWest - (2008-03-01)
  [1511] Buses from Well House Manor, Melksham, to Bath - (2008-01-18)
  [1315] Two years of campaigning for a train service - (2007-08-22)
  [1254] Comparing bus stops - (2007-07-01)
  [1125] Train service - petititon reply - (2007-03-31)
  [1085] Lawrence Webb's Melksham Taxi service - (2007-02-18)
  [818] Heard, yes. Considered, no. The case for the train. - (2006-07-30)
  [764] Journey planning - Xephos v Transport Direct - (2006-06-16)
  [474] Vintage Bus Day - (2005-10-23)
  [459] Kiss and Ride - (2005-10-09)
  [187] a popular bus number - (2005-01-23)
  [119] PHP course. Come by train. - (2004-11-15)


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