Mott MacDonald led a consortium of five consultants appointed by Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee to develop and deliver a travel demand management programme.
The programme's primary objective was to ensure that the travelling public in Glasgow kept moving smoothly during the Games. We needed to have full knowledge of the Games' transport planning requirements concerning governance, assurance and integration of multiple delivery programmes, travel demand management and messaging and transport planning. Providing easy access for all was to be achieved by influencing demand before and during the Games across all modes of transport, covering three specific audiences – businesses, spectators and regular travellers.
The programme was delivered through the efficient completion of the following four work streams
- Travel advice to spectators — planned and delivered a spectator messaging strategy that reached all spectators and helped influence their travel decisions. The information provided to spectators helped influence their choices in a way which also enhanced the effective operation of the transport system.
- Travel advice to business — businesses were asked to consider these key travel messages: 'retime', 'reroute', 're-mode' and 'reduce'. The campaign offered a targeted package of support with the aim of producing a time-action plan.
- Travel information systems supported the other work streams by securing systems and channels via which messages could be disseminated.
- Marketing communications — a campaign and focused messages supported these work streams which helped ensure that the public understood potential travel impacts of the Games and that they were aware of alternative transport options available.
Additionally, the team undertook a Games time role in the immediate run up to and during the event. This included coordinating communications and serving as the single source of truth on transport messaging.
We tailored in-house Merlin technology with configurations of the organisations and map data needed to support the Transport Co-ordination Centre (TCC).
Merlin allows strategic decision makers to identify and share critical information, for example, events which could potentially disrupt the smooth-running of activities around events. Collaboration is improved through a shared information picture, helping decisions to be made and the outcomes disseminated more quickly and effectively.
Merlin was provided as a cloud-hosted system, enabling it to be rapidly deployed to meet challenging timescales.
Benefits and value
Our input was found to have a very positive impact on transport for the Games. For example,
- Rapid deployment of a proven technology platform to support Games operations
- Spectator mode splits were generally better than those modelled – ie there was greater use of the more favoured modes (walking in particular). This reflects messages put out by the team.
- Figures from spectator satisfaction surveys on transport show high levels of overall satisfaction.
- Figures from background demand satisfaction surveys provided encouraging feedback. For example, 62% of responders were aware of the central campaign and 42% of them changed their travel behaviour.
- Overall level of traffic on the network – the statistics on network usage suggest that many of the key messages were followed, particularly in relation to not driving and avoiding using the train at certain peak periods.
- Customer satisfaction – the @Gamestravel2014 Twitter feed used during the Games' time operations provided good insight into customer views. Generally there was a very positive and supportive atmosphere from spectators and background demand.