24th March – Weekly Update

24th March – Weekly Update

This update was published when Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire was the name of the organisation, and when the “Update Hub” existed.

Welcome to our weekly report, this time published mid-week, by Harry Burr, Chief Executive.

1) Introducing “Updates”

This is our first update, and why don’t we take this opportunity to introduce you to our new Updates programme. We will be posting two types of updates; Weekly, and Executive. Weekly updates are published weekly, like this one, and Executive updates are published when we need to push a new project out, or some other important news, if we can’t wait until the end of that week.

In this case, the update has been published mid-week, as it’s a brand new platform and we wanted to introduce you to it, as well as a few important updates.

Along with the brand new Updates programme, we are also announcing the launch of this new website, which is an easy and simple to use website to browse all of our past and new updates, as well as certain other types of publications from us.

2) New project sites

This week, we have launched new sites for all of our active campaigns, including Weedon Station Project and South Northants Link. The new sites are designed to integrate deeply together, and to provide a fluent user interface wherever a visitor is on our Digital Service, as well as providing an individual experience across all of our different campaigns.

The new sites have been designed fully by outsourced staff, with the content being added by Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire after the sites were created, and during the process.

The sites are powered by very popular WordPress, a Content Management System (CMS), and all sites work relatively well on desktop, tablet, and mobile phone interfaces, due to a long responsive design process by our outsourced Digital Service team.

All sites are currently accessible on their standard domains, however, South Northants Link has been moved to a new standalone, dedicated domain, snlink.site. We will continue to work on these sites in the future, and make ways as to how we can improve them. This site is also powered by the new Digital Site Design System, as we are calling it, and the outsourced Digital Service team have assured us the base is very flexible, and can be changed with ease.

3) New brand guidelines

We have started work this week on brand new guidelines for our design system. Since Sustainable Transport Holdings merged into Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire, we have been hard at work rebranding our assets and digital identity. A brand new design system is a massive step in this process, and will allow us to scale up faster.

Proposed changes in this design system include:

  • New Project/Campaign logos, such as Weedon Station Project and South Northants Link.
  • Our two footer designs for each of our site types

In general, our new design system will have a bigger emphasis on Digital Design, to allow continuity across all of our digital presences, including domains as well. A more fitting name for this design system would be “Digital and Design System Guidelines 2021”, which is what we are calling it.

4) Lutterworth Line

We recently took on the role of being the supporting organisation of a new Restoring your Railway fund bid, Rugby to Leicester. The line would improve passenger connections to the rest of the East Midlands from Northampton, as well as providing two new brand new railway stations in Lutterworth and Cosby, as well as speeding up the proposed Rugby Parkway station near DIRFT and the village of Crick.

After a conversation with a handful of people who had things to say, we have decided to split Lutterworth Line into it’s own organisation, Sustainable Transport Lutterworth Line CIC. This will allow the Restoring your Railway bid to go smoother, and for the project to have it’s own board of directors.

Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire continue to support the scheme, and we will work with Sustainable Transport Lutterworth Line CIC on the transition and the future of the Lutterworth Line project. Lutterworth Line is a great project, and we continue to hope for its success in May.

5) New Unitary Authorities

As you may know, Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire was formed in July of 2020, after the unprecedented response to Weedon Station Project. We were aware of the imminent changes to Local Government in Northamptonshire back then, but now it’s actually happening. We hope this will be for the better.

Due to this, most of our “lobbying” of Local Government has been on hold since our founding in July. On April 1st, we will finally be able to secure a contact at the new West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council.

We wish the new authorities success in their first few months, and we hope we can form a great business relationship with the council and the councillors after they are elected in May.

Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire are working on a plan of action for use when the new authority comes into power, and a roadmap from April to May. Local authority support for our proposals is critical.

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