The Local Government Association (LGA), the Audit Commission, the Improvement and Development Agency, Local Transport Today, Surveyor and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have co-produced the kit, the latest in a series for local authority departments.
The toolkit will be launched officially at an LGA conference on 17 March, and will offer strategies and good practice examples to help transport and communications teams drive a better understanding of local transport developments.
The kit is designed to create better understanding of how the media operates and how communications officers can establish effective relationships with their local press.
Transport is currently one of the hottest topics on the news agenda and councils are revving up their comms departments ready to deal with forthcoming issues.
Schemes to cut congestion and prevent traffic face opposition from the local media and communities if the underlying strategy is not clearly communicated, according to the LGA.
LGA transport executive chairman, councillor Baroness Ros Scott said: ‘It is vital for councils to ensure their transport policies are communicated effectively through the local media and this research and toolkit will be a valuable aide to authorities in creating understanding and consensus over transport developments.’
Transport consultant, Atkins, together with PR consultant Camargue, developed the research project interviewing local authority transport and communications departments, by using workshops and taking case studies from a range of authority types and geographical areas.
The toolkit will form part of the IDeA’s ‘Connecting with Communities’ project.