Surveys are not just a great way to find out about the transport needs of people in your local area, they can also be useful to engage people and encourage them to become involved. So don’t forget to include questions at the end asking if people are interested in offering help with your project. Once you have got people thinking about their concerns, they are more likely to offer to want to make a difference and help out.
In the same way that it’s easier to set up a stall at someone else’s event, it’s easier to include transport questions in, for example, a parish or local residents survey than set up your own transport survey. More people are likely to respond too. If you are doing your own survey, it can be tempting to ask lots of questions but the more there are, the less people are likely to complete the survey. Try not to have more than a dozen questions or fewer if part of someone else’s survey..
On-line survey tools such as surveymonkey.com can make it very easy to set up a survey and analyse the results. By being internet based you are likely to exclude those who either do not have easy access or do not feel confident using the internet. One way round this is to offer a paper version of the on-line survey and then add the results from them on-line. To get the highest response rate, it’s best to go round door-by-door and complete a paper survey that you can add on-line afterwards. Although this can be very time consuming, trying to make face-to-face contact at least once can maximise public involvement.
Do try the survey out on a few members of the public before you finalise it, as questions usually benefit from some fine-tuning. It's generally good practice to provide a list of answers but also leave an other box for people to add their own choices.
Questions you could consider asking are
- Which forms of transport do you use? Most days, at least weekly, sometimes, never
- Would you consider changing how you travel? No, a few trips, many trips
- What would encourage you to change how you travel?
- What do you think the main transport priorities should be in your local area?
- Which particular locations should be the biggest priority to improve and why?
- Would you be able to help out with our initiative, if so what could you offer?