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With the annual Highways UK conference approaching, here is a look back at the 2017 event. Our Founder & Managing Director Jo Field spoke in a Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation session on ‘how people’s needs should drive infrastructure and services'. Here are some of Jo's key points to take away…

  • Stakeholder engagement is a vital tool for anyone working in the transport and infrastructure sectors because these industries are centred around people. Transport scheme promoters should work together with a wide range of stakeholder groups with common objectives. The end result will always be much greater than projects delivered with limited consultation and engagement.

  • It is so important to have stakeholder advocates. These are the groups that will champion your project and make the case for its delivery. Advocates can be hugely helpful in strengthening your campaign and will help you make clear messages to media and politicians with powerful support behind you. Stakeholder advocates can also give you continuous feedback and remind people of the benefits of the project. 

  • Developing and planning an engagement strategy with your stakeholders can lead to long term benefits. As Jo says, ‘You can turn critical friends into trusted allies and turn angry customers into loyal supporters.’ Having a chorus of stakeholder voices advocating your scheme is a great way to amplify your message. But these relationships don’t happen overnight. You need to take the time to build these connections.

  • We need to inspire young people, disabled people and older people and make their voices heard in the design and delivery of transport schemes. We need to let them know we are listening. We want to get schemes right for everyone.

You can watch the full session on YouTube: