FH will promote the area’s Local Transport Plan through consultation, media relations and lobbying. This will include extensive communications with local stakeholders, including the business community and residents, to promote better use of the transport network.
The seven-year contract could carry an annual budget of as much as £850,000, with an assessment review every two years. FH replaces two-year incumbent Citigate Communications.
FH planning director Sue Garrard said the plan aims to slash congestion across the region, which the CBI estimates costs local businesses £2.6m a year. ‘We are working to a very broad brief with the key being to tackle congestion across the area. The plan is one of the main ways of doing this,’ she said.
The Local Transport Plan is due to be submitted to the Department of Transport next year and contains a raft of developments for which Centro hopes to secure funding, such as investment in bus services.
Garrard said: ‘The investment and funding needs to be found to put in place these measures but we also need to convince people that using services like buses will benefit them and the region.’
Councils involved include Birmingham City, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Solihull and Coventry.