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Consortium Meeting - Norwich

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2007 - 09:00
Norwich , SMILE

The 2007 CIVITAS SMILE Consortium Meeting was held in Norwich in mid April (16th to 18th) The programme was planned to maximise opportunities to inform participants about the innovative sustainable transport issues, visit sites to demonstrate such measures but above all provide valuable time to network and pursue topics where the individuals wanted to learn and give particular knowledge in the CIVITAS movement.

On the first evening Mike Jackson the Director of Planning and Transportation and Felicity Hartley the Lord Mayor of Norwich formally welcomed delegates to Norwich.The next day kicked of with a workshop at The Forum introduced by Bruce Tofield from the University of East Anglia (UEA). Pete Metcalf gave a talk on renewable fuels in Norwich and how Anglian Buses, Dolphin Taxis and Norfolk police are meeting the challenges to run their vehicles on renewable fuel and the benefits this reaps. Staffan Ivarsson from E.ON Gas Sverige AB gave a talk on the use of Biogas for transport in Malmö and the hugh potential for its expansion and usage. This was followed by a talk from Lotus on Future Engine Technology and the impact of Bio fuel in the industry and the challenges they face and how they are working to overcome them. Finally The Hardstaff Group presented their successful dual fuel experience and how they achieved this.The first workshop of the day was followed by a site visit from Norwich Bus Station to Harford Park and Ride Site with an opportunity to view the new Shop and Go unit as launched December 2006. Delegates were then taken to the University of East Anglia to view a number of alternative fuel vehicles including CityCarClub, Hardstaff and an alternative fuel police vehicle. Following lunch at the Sainsburys centre delegates split up into relevant groups. The Political Group and Project Management Board met to discuss the Project at its mid term stage. While the PAB and the PMB met the rest of the delegates attended the Dissemination and Exploitation workshop in the historic Assembly House. Presentations were given by Chris Mitchell from Norfolk County Council. Chris Humphrey from TTR who gave important interactive and guidance workshops to delegates in the crucial stages of their measures. Fred Dotter the GUARD representative gave important feedback on dissemination topics such as statistical information on the CIVITAS web site performance and the phenomenal fact that over 5 million information requests had been made via the web site on the measures.The day ended with the official consortium dinner in the 600 year old Blackfriars Hall in the heart of Norwich. The Chief Executive of Norwich City council welcomed delegates followed by Mike Loveday from HEART who gave a fascinating presentation to delegates on historic Norwich and the various European projects Norwich has taken part in and the challenges we face.The final day started at The Forum with a workshop on Public Transport Systems in Norwich. Brian Witten the Strategic Director at Mott MacDonald introduced the workshop that was based around the Norwich Public Transport Major Scheme. Jeremy Wiggin from Norfolk County Council talked to delegates about the introduction, success and future plans for the innovative ticket vending machines. Mary Richards from Norfolk County Council gave us an account of the building of the new bus station including the challenges faced, the success of the new building and the positive effect its had on the area. Laurie Egan from Norfolk County Council and Gary Umpleby from Mott MacDonald gave a joint presentation on the provision of an Integrated Information System with an eye to Traffic Management needs.Following the workshop delegates were split into smaller groups for the next site visit. This included the opportunity to view the ticket vending machines, air pollution control units and the Castle Meadow area where the Park and Ride buses arrive and depart. The groups then continued down Prince of Wales Road and a look at the safety measures that had been put in place. The site visit ended at Norwich Railway Station for the official opening of the new bus/rail interchange built under the Norfolk Partnership with May Gurney. County Councillor Anthony Adams and Jesper König performed the official opening. Delegates were then transported back to The Forum in style on an old red London Bus in time for a stunning lunch at The Forum overlooking Peter Mancroft Church and the new millennium library.Lunch was followed by the final workshop of the day on evaluation. The first part was introduced by Alan Lewis from Transport & Travel Research Ltd on the status of the evaluation plan, the methodology development, feedback from the Evaluation Liaison Group, the impact of the evaluation progress and the process of evaluation. Alan then introduced Roman Klementschitz from the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna. Roman talked to delegates about the analysis process, involving stakeholders and further developments in evaluation. Following the evaluation workshop delegates had the opportunity to relax before being taken on a tour of historic Norwich. Everyone then ended the evening at The Dragon Hall, a Grade 1 listed trading hall built in about 1430. Delegates were treated to a demonstration of a traditional English dance called Morris Dancing while also having the opportunity to participate. This was followed by a traditional English Hog Roast and a night of English games. The whole occasion was balanced with the opportunity to view Norwich and its culture and at an exciting stage in its regeneration to aspire to the ranking of a United Kingdom top 10 placing in commerce, retail and recreation. The Norwich team would like to thank all the delegates for their enthusiastic participation which helped lead to a successful and enjoyable event.

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