TRACCing key workers’ bus routes to Royal Surrey County Hospital
We have all seen the abundance of ‘#StayAtHome and Stay Safe’ campaigns and it’s great to see so many people taking this advice! However, this advice doesn’t apply for everyone. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop turning because of this pandemic and access to essential services such as health and food, to name a few, are still urgently required.
Part of going to work, is being able to get there. With the situation we currently find ourselves in, transport has undoubtedly had a significant impact. There have been massive service disruptions and stop closures to reduce travel as part of staying safe. Although most services have been suspended, few remain active to ensure that keyworkers can still travel by public transport.
We keep getting asked by our TRACC users in local authorities and the NHS to help them decide how they could go about planning service changes and ensuring key buses are still running to get key workers to site. We have decided to put together a small blog showing how someone could approach this in TRACC and why only looking at direct services might not be the best idea.
The first image shows the bus travel time to Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH) prior to the COVID-19 outbreak (Data from January 2020). As you can see the hospital is extremely accessible in 60 minutes for surrounding towns, which is great to see. In this example there are around 165 that are running in and around Guildford.
But let’s turn our attention to the services that directly serve RSCH. We isolated the services that pass directly through the hospital from services in Surrey that don’t. With these services we created another map to show the drastic reduction in access should these be the only services to remain in operation. As these services directly serve RSCH, it is likely these will be a necessity for key health workers meaning they can’t be suspended, in this example this resulted in 7 services being left for access.
However, to simply suspend all other services that don’t operate around the hospital would be restrictive to the access from further afield. Based on this we started to think about which additional services might need to stay in action to allow more key workers to travel. For the final calculation, we considered routes that service densely populated towns around Guildford and removed duplicated or non-essential services. These were used in addition to the direct services to the hospital. This required a few iterations which was simple to achieve in TRACC as buses services could easily be suspended to find the perfect balance. The combination of bus services resulted in improved accessibility to the hospital, as demonstrated in our third map. In this example we had a total of 27 services which is a total reduction of 138 services but still maintains a good level of service.
What we can also do is overlay some employee home location data that could be held within an NHS HR system, this also could be used to ensure key workers can access the hospital as would show on the map where they live. We will produce a map below with some dummy data that could show how this looks.
What all of this demonstrates is that a town/city can still operate a skeleton bus service with a selection of essential routes that will still allow key workers to keep the country moving. Using TRACC calculations can be simulated to model proposals flexibly for an ever evolving and adapting situation.
For assistance on how to produce these outputs, customers can contact us and during these extraordinary times we are happy to walk through the process step by step, please email TRACCSUPPORT@Basemap.co.uk