Marham Park Flyer – A Demand Responsive Bus Service
Case study

Marham Park Flyer – A Demand Responsive Bus Service

Mayer Brown were instructed in 2019 to procure a Bus Service for the new Community at Marham Park, Bury St Edmunds on behalf of Countryside Properties.

Transport Planning
Infrastructure Design
Environmental Assessment

Details

The Scope of the Challenge

The service was to be provided in accordance with the S106 Agreement for the consented development, which defined:

  • the Destinations to be served
  • the frequency and operating hours of the service
  • the maximum budget for procuring the service

Discussions were held with the major local commercial operator regarding the provision of a new scheduled service and Arriva Click in terms of a Demand Responsive Service. Neither provider could supply a service within the S106 Budget Cap, nor with an operating cost that indicated any prospect of the service becoming commercially viable on an ongoing basis.

The implication of this would have been that the service could not be provided in a manner that would ensure its long-term commercial viability, and therefore to provide a lasting sustainable bus service for residents.

Therefore, in consultation with Suffolk County Council, it was agreed to develop a bespoke Demand Responsive Bus Service, working with the Voluntary Network, a local provider of Community Bus Services, which included services on a dial-a-ride basis.

Details of the Service

The Demand Responsive Bus Service (also known as Demand Responsive Travel – DRT) concept is that any resident who lives or works within the Marham Park Development could, through a booking app, catch a bus to any stop within the Bury St Edmunds catchment area.

How the bus service works

Trips on the service are booked using a booking app, which is an adaption of a taxi booking app. The front page of the booking app is shown below. The service launched after significant testing over a 2-year period, in May 2021 using branded vehicles.


The Marham Park flyer Booking App

The Launch

For the purpose of the service launch:

  • Designed, printed and distributed information leaflets delivered to all residents
  • Set up a dedicated email: marhamparkflyer@mayerbrown.co.uk, for residents to raise questions and seek information
  • Set up a database system to provide residents with initial free travel, through providing dedicated codes on the receipt of confirmation of residence
  • Set up a dedicated phone line for residents to obtain info 01638 608080 extension 2

The operation of the service is monitored using a control panel on the system within our London Office as shown in below. This shows the online bookings made, their place in the system, details of customers and tracks the real time progress of the Marham Park Flyer Vehicles.

 


Booking System Control Panel

 

Are you looking to implement a similar scheme at your development? Tap into our expertise and contact us to see how we can help. Call 01483 750508 or use our online enquiry form.


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