Getting on a bus or a bike may be second nature for someone who does it every day. For people trying out new forms of travel or even just making an unfamiliar journey, however, having more information as well as clearer information is crucial. In the 1930s London’s iconic tube map, for example, simplified a complex system of lines and made them easy to use.
It’s not just about helping people change the way they travel but also about redressing the balance against the huge amount of advertising promoting cars. While the focus of this section is simply on providing information, it’s worth considering how the way you present that information can help change people’s perceptions and preferences. This is covered in more detail in the influencing travel choices section.
Travel information should not just be about making trips by different means of transport. Promoting local shops and services (including home delivery services) also has a part to play in encouraging people to make shorter trips or even not travel at all. See the buying local section for more information. This can be done through maps and guides showing shops and services in the local area.
Better information can roughly be divided into the following categories, which are explained in more detail in the ideas section below, though there will be overlaps:
- on-line services - such as journey planners that give personalised information for a trip
- area maps - show for routes for different forms of transport across an area
- onward maps - simplified maps showing which routes you can take from a specific place, such as ‘spider maps’ that show routes emanating from a single point
- site directions - ‘how to reach us’ by different means of travel
- waymarking - direction signs and on-street maps around an area, this is covered in the improving streets and lanes section
- timetable and service information - which may be combined with area information to create an area guide to getting about
- ticketing and prices - giving information about different ticket types and offers
- promotional materials - such as posters and leaflets that sell the benefits of sustainable travel choices and make them more attractive, including leisure guides.