For the transport network to operate effectively, not only do the major modes like trains and buses need to be planned for and invested in. But the journeys to and from these modes via their interchanges - the so called first and last miles - need to be optimised. As part of the evidence base for the Heartland Transport Strategy, we delivered a study for EEH to help their decisions around first mile and last mile mobility solutions.
This involved a People + Place + Connectivity approach rather than traditional approach focussed just on transport mode and movements. We defined places across the geography by population density using the census and used Department for Transport journey time statistics to assess connectivity via different modes to amenities like education, healthcare, retail and leisure facilities. To innovate and differentiate from traditional thinking, we overlaid these two layers with anonymised behavioural data from Experian linked to peoples’ consumer habits across the geography. This helped us create 15 user personas representing different transport users with different behaviours across the Heartland.
By introducing this additional layer of behavioural data to inform outcome benefits, EEH and their local authority partners can now account for and assess human factors around transport choice. For example, they can place greater emphasis on anticipating the value different users place on time, independence, environmental impact, as well as mode factors like the positive benefit to health of active travel modes like walking or cycling.