Do you want to talk to transport bosses Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority's plans for the region's transport? Well you can't - you're too late, your chance was this morning. Even if you'd have known about it, chances are you wouldn't have been able to make it - it was at 10.30am on a Monday and you were probably busy.
GMITA's seminar at the Town Hall was billed by Chairman Matt Colledge as "A great opportunity for members of the public to discuss public transport with the very people who are in charge of it.
"These are exciting times. We're in the middle of a £700 million investment in Metrolink, real headway is being made on the Manchester rail hub study, and we are continuing to explore the new powers to improve bus services afforded by the Local Transport Act.
"So I'd urge anyone with an interest in our buses, trains and trams to come along to this event and find out more."
That's brilliant Matt! We'd love to come! The problems?
- Publicity: A search of Google News reveals that aside from a news item on GMPTE's website, posted on Friday, and a brief mention on Manchester Confidential published just an hour before the event there was no publicity for this event (online at least). We're on GMPTE's press release list and we didn't receive anything about it. We only heard about event on Twitter today when local people began complaining about not having had more notice about it.
- Timing: 10.30am is probably great for the transport bosses but it's not so great for the legions of people who crammed themselves onto the region's buses, trains and trams only two hours before. They were in work. An evening event would be much more accessible to the people who actually use public transport the most.
Cynical voices would say that GMITA doesn't want our opinions at all. They'd suggest that Colledge and chums hold consultations with little notice at inconvenient times in order to reduce the amount of feedback they have to deal with. After all, a public consultation took place this morning even if many people who would have wanted to be there didn't know about it. GMITA tick 'Public Consultation' off the list and move on.
With big improvements to transport in Manchester on the cards again we think GMITA can and should do better. Engage with us! Hold evening meetings, give a couple of weeks' notice and give people a place to peruse and discuss the plans online in advance. GMITA committee meeting minutes hold lots of information but who has the time, patience and stamina to read them all regularly?
So GMITA, let's see you step up your game and engage us!