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TravelSmart Special Events Planning Resource Kit

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  1. Getting Started
  2. Roles and responsibilities
  3. Auditing the facilities at your event/venue
  4. Objectives, targets and indicators
  5. Potential measures - Part 1 | Part 2
  6. Promotion and awareness
  7. Useful resources
  8. Case studies
  9. References/Publications
  10. Key policy/initiatives
  11. Checklist
  12. Download PDF

01 - Getting Started

At a Glance

Welcome to the TravelSmart Special Events Resource Kit. This resource kit has been developed to help Special Events Organisers, Planners and Council Officers involved with special events to reduce reliance on the car for travel to special events. By using this resource kit you will be able to develop an event access plan to identify alternatives to car travel and to support people who choose to use these alternative modes of transport (rather than driving to your event).

Welcome and Purpose of this Kit

Why should you support the use of sustainable modes of transport by patrons to and from your event? What's in it for you?

Here are some reasons you might already have:

What is a special event? You may be organising a conference, a street festival, a cycle ride, a sports match, a music festival, or any event that will attract large numbers of people. The event might be a one-off, or something that will happen on a weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis - this resource kit will help you to integrate sustainable transport policies into your planning process, which means supporting real alternatives to car use and promoting these alternatives as viable travel options.

Some States have developed formal procedures for planning the transport aspects of special events, such as Traffic Management for Special Events 2002, NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (Retrieved: October 20, 2003, from ). This resource kit is intended to raise awareness of sustainable transport planning opportunities for special events organisers and to complement existing planning procedures that are in place in your State. What measures can you put in place to support sustainable transport as part of your normal event planning activities?

Some guidance documents consider natural disasters and construction projects to be special events because they reduce the capacity of the local road network or transport services. These events are outside the scope of this resource kit, but if this topic is of interest to you, you can find more information through the internet, or through the links provided in Section 7 - Useful Resources.

This resource kit has been structured as a set of issues that you should cover in your planning. Some of the issues won't be relevant to your event and you will need to tailor your event access plan to suit the issues that you face. We've included a checklist at the end of this kit that you can use to tick off your progress as you go.

For more information or guidance about a specific issue, simply refer to the relevant section. The level of detail that will need to go into in your planning will be directly related to the scale of your event and local transport conditions. Please read through this document before deciding on the level of planning that you need to undertake as some of the sections may give you some useful ideas that can help.

What Is TravelSmart?

TravelSmart is a trademark used to brand a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging communities to use more sustainable modes of travel whilst reducing reliance on the car. TravelSmart has expanded to encompass a wide range of initiatives aimed at voluntarily reducing car use through supporting people to use alternative modes of transport and by making non-car travel options more attractive.

The TravelSmart initiative is similar to programs being developed internationally to help reduce pollution in the air and congestion in the streets, and to make our streets more people friendly.

Information on training of TravelSmart officers is available in "Training of TravelSmart Officers" at

It is important that planners become more aware of the impacts that transport decisions have on our day-to-day lives, because the numbers of car trips and trip distances (known as vkt, or vehicle kilometres travelled) have been increasing ahead of growth in population. This will continue to cause a wide range of problems, including more congestion, health problems like asthma and a poorer quality of life in our communities. Now is the best time to do something about these problems by supporting people to come to your event by walking, cycling and public transport.

For further information about TravelSmart in your area, have a look at the links in Section 7 - Useful Resources.

While you are developing your event access plan, it is important to focus on supporting alternatives to car use and promoting the benefits of these options.

How to Use This Resource Kit

To make it easy to find the information you need, this resource kit has been structured as a set of issues to be covered in the planning of your event. The kit is structured into the following sections:

01 Getting Started

This is the section you are reading now. This section gives you an understanding of the target audience for the resource kit and how to use it. It also gives you some background about the reasons for reducing our reliance on the car and the ways that this is being done around the world, and introduces the authors.

02 Roles and Responsibilities

This section identifies the types of organisations and stakeholders that will probably be involved in the planning of your special event, and their roles and responsibilities.

03 Auditing the Facilities at Your Event/Venue

This section provides some methods of estimating the likely impact your event will have on the local area. It also shows how to audit cycle facilities, bus services and other infrastructure around your venue. You will need to have a good understanding of this information before you move on to the next section and define the objective and targets of your event access plan.

Confirming the nature of the special event, and its operational, behavioural and travel characteristics is fundamental to the development of an effective event access plan.

04 Objectives, Targets and Indicators

When you create your event access plan, it's important that you have an objective and a set of optimistic, but achievable targets (e.g. number of visitors that arrive by public transport) that you can use to measure your success and performance.

While you are developing your targets, it's best to consult with other organisations to confirm that the outcomes for your event are suitable and that they are consistent with strategic planning policies in your area.

05 Package of Measures

Having identified your objective and targets, this section will help you to choose a package of measures that can realistically achieve those targets. A selection of the best measures for special events is discussed, with an idea of the costs and benefits you can expect. No two event access plans will be the same because each event has different characteristics - this section will help you to pick the best tools for the job.

06 Promotion and Awareness

It is essential that you develop a targeted and well defined marketing plan. The scale of the plan will be directly related to the scale of event you are organising, the number of people who are involved and the targets that you are trying to achieve. This section provides some advice about different publicity material, ways to get your message across and your likely target audience.

07 Useful Resources

For people who want to find out more about the topics covered in this kit, this section provides a list of useful resources.

08 Case Studies

This section provides a series of national and international case studies, so that you can see how other event organisers manage the transport demands of their events, the measures they use and the results that can be achieved. Case studies include the Commonwealth Games, Suncorp stadium, the Melbourne Grand Prix and Canberra's Floriade.

09 References/Publications

A list of references and useful publications used in the creation of this document.

10 Key Policies/Initiatives

This section provides a list of some of the most important planning policies developed by State, National and International governments to encourage people to reduce reliance on the car.

11 Checklist

This section includes a checklist that you can use to track your progress, or as a quick reference when planning your event.

About the Authors

This resource kit has been prepared by the Australian Government through Maunsell Australia Pty Limited. Maunsell is part of the AECOM group, with more than 16,000 employees in over 150 international locations. This international presence enables Maunsell to draw on a range of case studies and practices to better understand how other event organisers work.

Maunsell has been actively involved in planning many of the World's largest and most successful special events, including the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Maunsell has also provided specialist advice for other smaller events, such as the NSW Agricultural Easter Show and events at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne.

Robin Jackson, the lead author, is a Transport Planner based in Maunsell's Sydney office. Robin has developed innovative travel demand management strategies for clients in the commercial, retail and education sectors. Additional information for this kit has been provided by Virginia Anderson, a Transport Planner based in Maunsell's Melbourne office who has been involved in the planning for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and Iain MacBeth who coordinated the Boots Pharmacy Travel Plan in Nottingham before joining Maunsell's sister company FaberMaunsell in England.

Download PDF

This kit is also available for downloading as a PDF file. (PDF help)