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Coordinators of:  

University Hospitals of Leicester Travel Planning

Project manager:

  • Dr. Ian Murdey

  • Robin Pointon

Project Client:

  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL)


  • University Hospitals of Leicester

  • Leicester City Council

  • Leicestershire County Council

  • Rutland County Council

  • Healthwatch Leicester & Leicestershire

  • Healthwatch Rutland

  • Local transport operators: Arriva, Centrebus, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway, First and Ride On.

Project Descripton

What was the primary challenge or set of challenges facing the client? What was the business case for change?

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) are the largest employer in the city and generators of thousands of journeys every day. As such, easy access to the three main sites for staff, patients, and visitors is a high priority.

Within the local community there are existing concerns about accessibility to the hospitals in Leicester, particularly the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI), and a perception that this will worsen as a result of future developments. In response, UHL in 2019 had an updated Travel Plan produced that reflected some historical successes; however, overall take-up of sustainable travel has been in decline over the last decade.

Across Leicester and for the NHS across the UK, there is growing expectation and requirement for the NHS to be managing the impacts of changes made and ensure that all stakeholders are appropriately consulted and engaged.

GO Travel Solutions (GTS) were commissioned on this project from September 2020 until April 2023. In the time they worked with the Trust Travelwise Manager, Ruth Ward to create a roadmap of actions going forward to support access to UHL sites for staff, patients, and visitors.


What special value did Go Travel Solutions bring?

These are the areas where GTS added value:

  • Extensive experience of creating, managing, and promoting Travel Plans for major employers.

  • Applied ongoing learnings from each phase of the project and built on the partnerships established to maximise their value in developing a greater range of travel options for the three UHL sites.

  • In-depth local and national sustainable transport knowledge through effective relationships with providers, public sector and private sector partners.

  • Effective and long-term engagement with major employers in Leicester e.g. De Montfort University, Highcross, University of Leicester.

  • Effective and long-term engagement with senior officers and members at Leicester City Council.

  • Effective and long-term engagement with local transport providers at senior level e.g. Arriva, First, East Midlands Railway.

  • Expertise in stakeholder management across public, private and 3rd sectors.


GTS worked with Ruth Ward and the other stakeholders to expand on the initiatives suggested within the original Travel Plan and build them into a Travel Action Plan. This formed the basis of those initiatives and actions.

A list of priority actions were identified and costed, and funding sources identified.

By supporting the Trust and working with local transport providers and enablers, GTS played a key role in the delivery of the priorities identified in the Travel Action Plan.

Significant progress was made during the project. Here are some of the highlights:

    • Approval of the Travel Action Plan by the UHL Trust Board in March 2021.
    • Improvements to cycle sheds across all sites.
    • A cross-site Dr Bike Programme.
    • Extension of the PlusBus scheme to include the Hospital Hopper bus service.
    • New electric buses for the Hospital Hopper with a new brand and charging at depot.
    • Change to Hospital Hopper timetable for afternoon peak reliability.
    • Additional seasonal Hopper buses for when university students start.
    • Free tickets and staff discounts provided by Arriva and Firstbus.
    • Creation of effective partnerships with all stakeholders, in turn helping to secure additional investment into the UHL Travel Action Plan.

Client testimonial

“Working with GO Travel Solutions has raised the profile of travel within the Trust. They have given us the opportunity and momentum to move forward on travel initiatives. The level of engagement from all parties would not have been possible without them. The knowledge, expertise and links GO Travel Solutions have has allowed the Trust to make great steps forward.”

Samantha Rose Stanhope, Head of Sustainability, University Hospitals of Leicester