Customer story: London Borough of Sutton, UK

Transport Planning Process
'screenshot of 'London Borough of Sutton, UK
'screenshot of 'London Borough of Sutton, UK

Well connected

Sited within the M25, Sutton is a major south London suburb with great road connections and ample public transport: no less than nine train stations and plentiful bus routes, with plans for a Tramlink extension.

Active travel forms a natural part of Sutton’s transport equation, and Sutton Council have been something of a pioneer in developing sustainable travel. Citizen Space has been part of their journey for the past 12 years.

From the strategic to the specific

In spring 2021 Sutton Council used Citizen Space to conduct a statutory consultation on its draft Sustainable Transport Strategy for the whole borough. Large complex strategies such as this are well-served by the Citizen Space platform: while transport planning can be complicated, Citizen Space is designed to deliver a smooth and intuitive user journey no matter how technical the content.

The ‘related documents’ feature allows admins to link to relevant material, such as formal consultation documents, FAQs or full transport plans, at the bottom of a consultation’s overview. Having everything linked in one place is not only convenient for participants, but it’s easy for admins to administer too.

One thing Sutton’s draft strategy did particularly well was to include the basic information needed to answer the questions within the body of the survey. This reduces the time and effort it takes to respond to a large statutory exercise such as this: people can simply read the synopsis of an issue then choose to either comment immediately, or they can find more detail in the main strategy document. This approach enables people with differing priorities to decide what they want to focus on while not having to read everything.

At the other end of the scale, you can’t get much more localised than consultations for the School Streets initiative, most of which affect one street near a specified school. Sutton Council have carried out more than 20 School Streets consultations on Citizen Space, making use of features like the ability to embed maps and diagrams, allowing for residents to make informed responses. A final statutory consultation is planned for the summer, with a view to approved schemes going live in the borough by the end of the year.

Scalable and robust

Sutton Council have been hot on sustainable travel for years, and active travel plans have only accelerated as a result of the pandemic and clean air initiatives. Sutton Council recognise that good-quality consultation is key to successful transport planning -– and Citizen Space has shown itself to be the right tool for the job.

With its unlimited nature – that means as many consultations and admin users as is needed – Citizen Space is easily scalable to support all kinds of consultations and surveys. In Sutton’s case this has meant using the platform for everything from long-term strategies to individual School Streets and Traffic Management Order proposals. Sutton Council needed a tool that could support this range of activity; to date, they’ve run over 300 consultations on Citizen Space.

We chose Citizen Space because it met the authorityʼs specific needs at the best value

Ben Unsworth, Head of Engagement and Equalities, London Borough of Sutton

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