Making events more inclusive: choosing accessible venues with public transport in mind
by Ian Murdey, Project Manager at GO Travel Solutions
Planning an event is no small feat. Whether it's a conference, a seminar, a concert, or a fundraiser, numerous factors must be carefully considered. One often overlooked aspect of event planning is venue accessibility, especially how easily attendees can reach the location using public transport.
In our increasingly eco-conscious and inclusive society, choosing a venue with good public transport links is not only a responsible choice but also a strategic one. In this article, we will explore the importance and benefits of accessible venues plus the key considerations when selecting them.
Why public transport accessibility matters
Inclusivity: A commitment to inclusivity should be at the forefront of every event organiser's mind. Choosing a venue with good public transport connections helps ensure that people who are unable or unwilling to drive or use active travel are able to attend your event.
Environmental responsibility: Reducing the carbon footprint of your event is not just a matter of corporate social responsibility (CSR), it can also be a selling point. Many attendees appreciate and support events that make efforts to minimise their impact on the environment.
Cost savings: Public transportation can be more cost-effective and convenient for attendees than driving or taking taxis, especially in urban areas where parking can be expensive or limited.
Considerations when choosing an accessible venue with public transport in mind:
1. Location and accessibility assessment:
- Research the accessibility of the venue via public transport looking for nearby bus stops and train stations.
- Consider the distance attendees will need to walk from public transport stops to the venue. Ensure that pathways are well-maintained and accessible to all.
2. Connectivity and frequency:
- Check the availability and frequency of public transport options during the event's date and time. Ensure that attendees can easily reach the venue and return home without long waiting times.
- Consider the coverage area of the public transport system to accommodate attendees from various locations.
3. Communication and Information:
- Provide clear and detailed information about public transport options to attendees in event communications and on your website. Where possible, include a link to a local journey planner (e.g. Choose How You Move for Leicestershire) and ensure that this information precedes any details about driving and parking. If there is no local journey planner, link to Google Maps.
GO Travel Solutions has recently partnered with the East Midlands Chamber (EMC) to create event travel plans for EMC events. As an example of this, click here.
- Consider coordinating with local transport authorities to provide additional services, such as shuttle buses or discounted public transport passes.
4. Safety Considerations:
- Assess the safety of the public transport routes to and from the venue, especially if the event extends into the evening. Enable and encourage attendees to travel in groups if necessary.
5. Accessibility for all:
- Ensure the venue itself is wheelchair accessible, with ramps, elevators, and accessible toilets.
- Check if public transportation options serving the venue have accessibility features, such as low-floor buses and station ramps for people with reduced mobility.
6. Parking and bicycle facilities:
- While promoting public transport, also consider attendees who may prefer to cycle to the event. Ensure the venue has bicycle parking facilities that should include well-maintained stands, lighting, and covers; lockable if possible.
- If parking is necessary for some attendees, choose venues with an appropriate number of accessible parking spaces.
Selecting an event venue with good public transport accessibility is not just a logistical decision; it's a statement of values. It shows that your organisation is committed to inclusivity, sustainability, and the convenience of your attendees. By carefully considering location, connectivity, and accessibility features, you can create a more inviting and accessible event for all, while also reducing the environmental impact of your gathering.
In the end, a well-chosen venue accessible via public transport can lead to higher attendance, greater satisfaction among attendees, and a positive reputation for your organisation.
Need assistance with your event travel plan or simply want to find out more? Contact us at