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Innovative ticket to ride is an award winner

Posted onPosted on 25th Jun

A student travel scheme has won a national award.

The multi-operator student ticket scheme was named the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport’s (CIHT) Bus Centre of Excellence Bus Initiative of the Year winner at an awards evening in London.

Nottinghamshire County Council developed the cheme alongside West Nottinghamshire College, Nottingham Trent University (NTU), Stagecoach East Midlands, and trentbarton to give students more flexibility than the college’s private bus network could offer.

More than 425,000 journeys were made by students, staff, and apprentices since its launch last September.

Multi-operator season tickets offer students at the college and NTU unlimited travel within the catchment area, seven days a week, giving them a much wider choice above and beyond the two services a day previously offered.

Software was used to model how students could be transferred onto the local bus network and new and improved bus routes were launched by trentbarton and Stagecoach to accommodate this.

trentbarton extended its Ripley to Sutton 90 service to operate through to Mansfield, meaning the college’s four main campuses are now all connected by bus.

Retailers in Mansfield and Ashfield have since reported an increase in footfall and sales thanks to more students being able to travel into town centres using their season tickets outside of college hours.

Gary Wood, head of Highways and Transport at the council, said: “The multi-operator student ticketing scheme is a shining example of partnership working at its best and looking at the results in Mansfield and Ashfield, we are proud to have made a difference to the lives of students, apprentices and college staff.

“It is great to hear that students aren’t just travelling to get to and from college and that the local economy has seen a boost thanks to the multi-operator ticket.”

Gavin Peake, director of IT, Estates and Learning Resources at the college, added: “Our students have benefited significantly from this flexible and expanded bus service, and use it for much more than just getting to and from college, such as attending work placements and enrichment activities, as well as for social use.

“Almost one-fifth of the recorded journeys have been made at weekends, proving that when offered affordable access to public transport, young people will choose to take a greener option.”

Matthew Cranwell, managing director of Stagecoach East Midlands, said the scheme gives students flexible bus travel at best value for commuting and leisure journeys, adding that the award is fantastic recognition for everyone involved in the project.

Tom Morgan, managing director of trentbarton, added: “Our multi-operator ticketing solution highlights what can be achieved through partnership working. Now, that means we have more young people using sustainable transport modes than ever before.”

Katie Kerry, head of Operations for the Mansfield Hub at NTU, said: “The student travel scheme is a great example of education institutes and transport providers working collaboratively to make public transport more accessible and affordable for students.”