A new start for Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire

A new start for Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire

Big changes have happened in the last few weeks. This blog post will aim to explain them all, and how it may affect you. I’m Harry Burr, Chief Executive at Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire, which is now Sustainable Transport Midlands.

Let’s start from the bottom up. The smallest change we’ve made over the last few weeks is rebranding Weedon Station Project. The name really didn’t match up with the campaigns goals, so we’ve renamed it to “Daventry Parkway Project“, which reflects the reason behind the campaign, to relink Daventry. This doesn’t mean we’ve totally forgotten about the benefits to Weedon, in fact, we’re very aware of them. From what we know, all elements of the “Weedon Station Project” branding within our control have now been modified to reflect the new project/campaign naming scheme.

Next up, new project/campaign websites. Although we said we’d wait till September, we couldn’t really wait. Around a week ago, we introduced brand new sites for Daventry Parkway Project, and South Northants Link, which have been serving them greatly. The template for these sites will now be used across all of our future campaign and project websites, as well as various other internal uses and even future subsidiaries. You can find the new template on weedonstation.site and snlink.site at the moment.

Another big change we’ve made is website upgrades. Some of the things we’ve upgraded include the following (but not limited to!):

  • Introducing a brand new “Brand and Press Centre
  • Creating custom cursors for our websites (not just the main STM website)
  • Changing certain colours, footers, and headers on our main Sustainable Transport Midlands (aka. Northamptonshire) site
  • Introducing a new “Feedback” button on of all our sites

Changes were briefly made to mark the death of HRH Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh during the mourning period, such as making our headings black and adding notices to the top of our pages. Due to accessibility, that was the extent of changes to our websites.

Next up is new campaigns! We’ve created a brand new mini-campaigns subsidiary that are currently running the following service improvement projects that don’t require their own organisation underneath Sustainable Transport Midlands:

  • East West Northampton (more info on this later)
  • Tesco EV Chargers in Daventry (approved!)
  • TfL Rail West Coast
  • Thameslink East Midlands

The new “Mini-projects Database” can be visited on the mini.transport.click domain.

To go into more detail about one of these campaigns, East West Northampton was announced this week. Northampton is just as in need as Milton Keynes for a brand new East West transport link – but it isn’t getting onto East West Rail’s map. This needs to change.

We have already got in touch with East West Rail Co, who I’ve been in contact with before. This mini-project can be tracked on the new “Mini-projects Database” page for “East West Northampton” by visiting mini.transport.click/east-west-northampton

Of course, the part of this announcement you’ve been waiting for is Sustainable Transport Northamptonshire rebranding to Sustainable Transport Midlands. We’ve done this for many reasons, such as the STN name being limited to us, as we can only theoretically campaign within Northamptonshire and the counties surrounding it.

Let’s get into the logistics of the rebrand. Sustainable Transport 2021 Rebranding Commission was introduced in early April to come up with a replacement word for “Northamptonshire” in our organisation name, and a route to implement this change. In late April, the Commission reported back to us with their 17-page, 3-step plan for rebranding to their favoured choice, Sustainable Transport Midlands.

Sustainable Transport Restructuring Taskforce then approved they go ahead with the plans they handed to us, and Sustainable Transport 2021 Rebranding Executive was formed to carry out the 3-step plan. This plan goes as follows:

  1. Prepare for rebranding: This is the sort of stuff we had to do to make the public aware of the imminent rebranding, and to get prepared ourselves, such as purchasing domains and tools, and making sure our logos and media were ready to go.
  2. Making internal modifications: Of course, this is the second most important part. Making sure everything internally works under a new brand is vital. If we just outright skipped this step, our organisation would be super confusing to understand for the general stakeholder.
  3. Making external modifications: For example, this website and our new social media networks were introduced in this step. This is the step we are currently on (1st May 2021). We are currently struggling with our SEO, but we hope this is sorted out in the next few weeks/months, as SEO is just a waiting game, it seems.

STM already has a new website, which is the one you’re on right now. We’re already making big changes across the organisation, such as rolling out the new “News” page, to precede the outdated “Update Hub”.

Questions about the rebrand can be redirected to the Sustainable Transport 2021 Rebranding Executive team, who can be emailed on rbexec@transport.click. The video below (published 30th April 2021) may also be able to answer some of your questions:

30th April rebranding update video

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