Transport campaign toasts success

I was really pleased to see the West of England named today as one of a handful of areas to benefit from government funding to encourage increased use of electric cars on our streets.

Colleagues were among this morning’s gathering to welcome Transport Minister Andrew Jones’ announcement of £7.5m to fund more local charging points.

It was especially satisfying because we supported this bid with an excellent campaign which demonstrated strong public appetite in the West of England for government investment in infrastructure for plug-in cars.

Partners who made the bid had agreed that proving this public backing was an essential part of making the case for funding, and we had three months to generate something tangible in this area.

Here are some of the things we did in that time which helped the bid team demonstrate strong support.

  • Coordinated four speaking opportunities which engaged hundreds of business leaders about the bid.
  • Organised an event at Bristol & Bath Science Park which was attended by more than 50 businesses and local leaders to encourage them to back the bid with pledges of support. People were able to take some amazing Nissan, Tesla and BMW cars for a spin after the event, which provided picture opportunities for the media on the day.
  • Using case studies of local businesses and a media call on the day of the event, we generated strong coverage online in print and broadcast during the campaign.
  • A mini Twitter campaign saw the #ultralowwest hashtag shared more than 120 times at around the time of the Science Park event.
  • This activity helped generate online pledges of support from dozens of local employers, who together made a combined commitment to provide investment for around 100 plug-in vehicles to be provided locally.

We thoroughly being involved in this campaign, which was a great example of how working with interested parties and well thought out planning can bring results. I learned a fair bit about electric vehicles too, and hope they catch on in Bristol as a result of the investment announced today.