Establish an effective LTP (SUMP) stakeholder engagement plan/process to underpin the development of a successful plan
The WYCA uses different methods, such as websites, social media, meetings, leaflets, etc., for stakeholder engagement to support the LTP (SUMP) process.
One aspect of the consultation was to develop and deliver cycling and walking improvements through ‘CityConnect’ a Technical Stakeholder Board, established together with a supporting group of interested professionals and lay-people. The Stakeholder Board held regular
meetings where participants could provide local knowledge, technical specialist input and enable a sense of project ownership to help shape the outcomes and public perception of the project. CityConnect was an
opportunity to test new techniques (including the use of social media and an online interactive map) and consider their incorporation into mainstream SUMP practice, in particular for promoting projects, informing public, promoting participation opportunities, etc.
Additionally, for drafting West Yorkshire SUMP, WYCA worked with the local Youth Association NGO to gain views from youths. WYCA learnt that partner organisations can successfully engage with and deliver participation activities with hard to reach groups. The NGO enlisted the help of community organisations such as elderly and ethnic minorities. The use of social media is not innovative as such however, the use of social media for monitoring some specific measures and increasing the participation of citizens and its inclusion in the SUMP are innovative practices.
Financial resources are limited, since only time staff to manage the group and social media accounts have to be taken into account.
However, WYCA realised that the social media activity can be very time-consuming as it requires a quasi-permanent activity to respond to criticism and requests.
Evidence of success
This GP permitted to improve the public involvement and required cooperation for the definition of measures, feedback and monitoring of measures. Thanks to social media and the interactive map, WYCA identified over 300 problems on the cycling network/measures.
A wider participation of the cyclists in the SUMP process is possible as they feel a stronger sense of responsibility and ownership on the SUMP, this can translate in more proposals for new measures or improvements.
When using the social media, the public criticisms are unavoidable. On the one hand, it allows to identify serious problems. On the other hand, this should be handled delicately to avoid mass criticism.
Potential for learning or transfer
It is important to develop a consultation protocol and determining key objectives for engagement at a strategic and local level, reflecting the different tools and applicability for targeting different transport users and stakeholders across regions and within Municipalities. Above all, resources and skills to deliver an effective stakeholder engagement strategy and implementation are required.
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