Community ambassadors for increasing patronage on local railways

Guiver, JW and Davies, NJ ORCID: 2016, Community ambassadors for increasing patronage on local railways , in: Universities' Transport Study Group, 6th-8th January 2016, Bristol.

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Community Ambassadors were employed by Northern Rail to promote off-peak train use amongst hard-to-reach groups, such as ethnic minorities, English language learners, people with disabilities or without employment. Their work involved developing trust with ‘gate-keepers’ and client groups and being sensitive to the lack of knowledge of how to use trains amongst many of these groups. This paper discusses theoretical approaches to increasing use of travel modes and similar Ambassador schemes. It describes how the Community Ambassadors worked and the potential criteria to judge their effectiveness, but explains how the scheme was abruptly halted, before evaluation. This raises questions about the vulnerability to outside pressures of such pioneering schemes and the conflicts between short and long-term time horizons. Building up trust and confidence takes time and patience, and is easily undone by decisions made by remote company bosses and politicians. It discusses the benefits to society and train operators of making travel modes more available and what can be learnt from the short life of this scheme.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Refereed: No
Funders: Citizens' Rail Interreg Project
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 16:23
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 21:38
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