“Tonight, what we’ve tried to do is bring together both people that make decisions, make the plans, come up with all the ideas around transport, and put them in the room with the young people who are actually affected by it.”Beth Morley, Future Transport Behaviour Change Lead for Transport for West Midlands
And what was the goal, the final stop on the line? To bring together transport professionals with local youth, to make travel better for everyone.
The workshop was balanced between revealing opinion polls, industry speakers, informative video and shared discussion. There were exciting speakers from various local transport groups such as Aisosa Henkoma (an e-scooter trainer working with Rollsafe), Adam Tranter (Walking and Cycling Commissioner), Dr Kiron Chatterjee (Professor of Travel Behaviour at UWE Bristol) and many more.
Topics raised included how accessible public transport is for Birmingham youth, how important sustainability is in travel decision-making, plans for cars, awareness of electric alternatives etc.
“Tonight, what we’ve tried to do is bring together both people that make decisions, make the plans, come up with all the ideas around transport, and put them in the room with the people who are actually affected by it.
In a way, tonight is a bit of an experiment. If it is successful, we hope to run more events like it with not just young people, but also different groups across the West Midlands. So often, those plans and decisions are made without really speaking to the people that are going to be impacted. We really want the opportunity for both groups to talk with each other.”Beth Morley, Future Transport Behaviour Change Lead for Transport for West Midlands
There were a lot of positive vibes on the night and some surprising behavioural insight in how youth approach travel – and an honest look at the blockades that must be overcome to create the best travel experience.
South & City College Birmingham were proud to host a pilot project like this at our Digbeth campus – any opportunity to make Birmingham a better experience for our youth is absolutely invaluable to our college. We look forward to future collaborations from Transport for West Midlands.
This is one of many collaborations we have had with arms of the West Midlands Combined Authority, such as our award-winning VR workshop with West Midlands Police and the WMCA’s ever-crucial attendance of our Community Forums.