Proposal for a Local Trams Awareness Campaign which can be replicated nationally

Proposal for a Local Trams Awareness Campaign


Which can be replicated nationally



The key people by affected by traffic and resulting poor  air quality are a) the school children ( no power) b) the parents ( with power) who have to drive them to school.  This project mobilizes the ability of children to get directly to their parents


( 1/3 of the morning rush our congestion is the school run)




To create and pilot a grass roots, awareness campaign – in Bath – promoting trams. This will fulfill two functions; these are:


  • to raise awareness among young people in and around Bath of the benefits of reintroducing trams – who can convey this to their parents


  • to test and develop communication strategies which could be used in other cities




Bath is one of many UK cities which would benefit from trams and some momentum has built behind the campaign, but not enough at this stage. Although there is some awareness of the benefits that a tram system can bring to the area, there has been little robust penetration of this message into the community and the raising of awareness has largely been among older people  – those who read the Bath Chronicle and those who participate in the debate.


If trams are perceived to be viable then much more engagement and explanation is needed. A general campaign targeted at the whole community would be ideal but it would be expensive and may be difficult to convey the complex and nuanced nature of the argument.


In terms of maximising the impact of the campaign message a focus on schools would, I believe, be a more useful and cost effective starting point. There are a number of key reasons why targeting positive messages about tram networks at schools Is an efficient method of raising awareness in the general community these are:



  • As non-car owners they are less likely to be as attached to the use of cars as the primary mode of urban transport than the adult community


  • School age children are more likely disproportionately more likely to experience the benefits of tram usage. As they are much more frequent users of public transport than adults. Crucially, they are more likely to be aware of the disadvantages of buses – discomfort / reliability / journey predictability / lack of space / unwanted proximity to strangers etc


  • School-aged children are, according to research, disproportionately affected by particulate matter – Pm10 and Pm 2.5 which are produced by all rubber on road transport


  • They are disproportionately higher uses of social media and are, theoretically, consequently more easily targeted and more effective disseminators of the campaign’s messages.


  • This group is easily reached and targeted through the school network of assemblies and lessons. Furthermore, the fact that students will be engaged and involved in the analysis will, in turn some of them into ambassadors to relay the key messages to the wider community ie. families and friends


  • There is a current and growing narrative of young people being at the center of environmental reform. There are already networks, groups, organized within the region and across the schools communities who might be willing to join an environmental campaign


  • Teaching staff, who shape and control the supporting data are, I believe, although there is no current evidence to support this, inherently more likely to be supporters of trams




Execution – School Awareness Campaign


The campaign will fall into three distinct phases: planning, and research; Implementation and campaign analysis. Much of the research will be generic and applicable to cities other than Bath





Phase 1 –  Planning and Research



  • Research


1 – Research into campaign costings. This will involve creating a menu of options for any marketing materials / merchandise and other costs. I propose the creation of a range of printed materials for example  car rear windscreen stickers, lapel badges etc.


Research into cost of purchasing or making air quality testing equipment ( This will be a project run by a partner school )


Secondary Research into schools that have conducted similar experiments. It will be valuable to examine any lessons from previous student led Air Quality Awareness campaigns


Secondary Research into Central Gov’t  / B&NES data concerning local air quality and its impact on health


Analysis of the impact of the transport plans for Radstock, Midsomer Norton, Bath and Bristol would have on air quality / traffic congestion


Secondary Research into comparative urban transportation options in the UK and globally and consideration of their appropriateness within B&NES


Primary Research conducted by students into transport options for the area  / perception of trams


Research for the promotional film



  • Planning


  • Concept design – the campaign will have a single image and one clear strap line such as:


I’d rather be in a tram -(rear windscreen)


Rail against air pollution


It’s Time for the Tram


Bath’s gone off the rails


Let’s get Bath back on track


Trams Don’t Steel your air






  • Liason with: schools, press, other interested groups eg Sustrans / ecological / green groups


  • Establishing the student / teacher team – The Mendip Studio School  (14 – 19) which specialises in studying STEM ( Science Technology Engineering Maths) subjects in a vocational context has agreed to work on the project. Students – A level – mentored by teachers would actively participate in the gathering and analysis of data.




Phase 2 –  Production and execution



Create PSHE  spell out / Science learning materials for schools to focus on local Transport issues with a set of pre prepared, planned and highly targeted resources, making it easy and convenient for teaching staff and meeting certain curricular criteria.

This will fit in with school schemes of work.


Begin student led air quality research Students will measure air quality both where they live and at school


 Produce video


Create marketing resources eg.


  • Badges


  • Pens / pencils


  • Posters / flyers Built on my previous success of awareness raising campaigns for foster care
  • Car stickers These are a cheap and highly effective option for this type of campaign. It is highly targeted, the placement of rear windscreen stickers reaches the target market efficiently. Drivers, who are able to read rear windscreen stickers are more likely to be receptive to the positive messages about trams


  • Establishing a student social media marketing team to maintain momentum


  • Establish presence at school fêtes etc




Phase 3 –  Campaign Analysis


The lessons learned from the campaign will be of use in future campaigns. A report will be produced which will:


analyse campaign impact from a baseline – which will be established in primary research through focus groups / questionnaires. In particular we will:


Measure  awareness of the issues and options to improve transport in the area


Measure awareness of and positive feelings toward trams


We will also consider the process and mechanics of the campaign looking at which aspects are worth retaining in any future campaign



My Background



Head of Media Studies at Writhlington for the last 16 years. Before that I ran my own full services marketing agency working primarily in the area of foster career recruitment. I conceived and executed locally based advertising campaigns for local councils in the UK –  including Portsmouth, Hackney, Luton, Oxford, Greewnich and B&NES –  part of which involved the production of promotional videos. Key learning points from these campaigns were the importance of:


  • a single, coherent, localised message reiterated across platforms and media


  • maximising the impact of advertising spend with a modest budget.


  • adapting conventional marketing techniques to a highly localised context.





Treatment for short Promo film



Act one


The aim of act one is to establish the nature of the problem, heighten the awareness of the audience and create the sense that this is a problem that needs to be dealt with and quickly. The presenter and supporting crew will be a young person. They will identify areas of concern with the existing transport model,


Images of traffic in Bath combined with interviews with experts in quality and medical practitioners will combine with short interviews with young people who are presented with the results of studies into air quality.


Act two


Presenter will emphasise the need for urgent action and will consider The source of and the  nature of the best way to remove p.m. 2.5 and of the particulates from the environment. cities which have trams and examine the experience of those communities.


The presenter will identify other areas and all reasons why young people might prefer to use trams such as increased space, reliability, safety and ride experience. Tonight‘s word right ???? experience on it Ideally, we will interview young people in cities such as Manchester and Nottingham we are trying


Act three


Historical consideration of the nature of the tram network in Bath, its forgotten role in Bath’s expansion, ( as in other cities from the 1880s onwards) and the reasons for its decline.


Presenter will look at the old tram network and look at the proposed tram network and consider how the communities along these tramlines would be affected if in a positive light.


Act four


Upbeat, positive music will accompany short, soundbites taken from interviews with young people from a city with trams stressing the positive impact of trams

Copyright C. Donovan March 2020. Content may not be used without written consent