Designing for aesthetics, performance, and the individual

Delegates from Alexander Dennis, First Group, Metroline and many other top names in the UK bus industry drew together to share ideas on design inspiration, find out about upcoming design trends and hear insights from industry professionals.

The day started with a welcome from Altro’s Sales and Marketing Director, Sarah de los Rios, sharing why events such as these are so important to our company. Transforming spaces to enhance people’s emotional and physical wellbeing is Altro’s purpose, and we hope that bringing people together to discuss transport spaces will give inspiration for innovative spaces in transport.

The Bus Safety Standard roadmap

A big upcoming change in the design of London based buses will be the upcoming Bus Safety Standards from Transport for London. Jane Lupson, Senior Bus Safety Manager for Transport for London, shared her insights into the upcoming regulations and the roadmap for the proposed changes. Discussion covered the pros and cons of technology-driven safety features such as assisted breaking systems and multi-view cameras and how their implementation might impact builders, operators and indeed passengers in the future.

Another point for discussion was the potential for the changing soundscape of London. As steps are being taken to make buses more audible to prevent accidents, what sound is appropriate? How can we futureproof it? When we’d like to move away from the denotation of a diesel bus, what potentially should the countrywide buses of the future sound like?

The “Purple Pound”

If there was an untapped market worth £212 billion, would you want to tap into it?

£212 billion is the estimated worth of the annual spending power of people with disabilities and their families in the UK: the “Purple Pound”. Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users UK, shared her insights into how we can design buses to make them more accessible to passengers with both visible and invisible disabilities.

Discussion centred around designing vehicles without the need for retrofitting, and Claire suggested that the best way to do this was through talking to passengers, finding out their needs, and designing your vehicles around those needs. The main concern raised with this was the cost of accessibility options – but as the demand grows, so will the supply, and the greater the supply, the cheaper the cost.

Innovation across the sector

Maria Kafel-Bentkowska, Colour, Material, and Finish Project Head for PriestmanGoode, presented case studies from rail, air and terminal applications to show how innovative design stems from responses to genuine human insight. Passenger experience is a top priority: by identifying issues and opportunities at different touchpoints, a truly ergonomic and personal travel experience is achieved. While of course, the needs of manufacturers and refurbishers, operators, and passengers are all different, a good design should encompass all of these needs. A good looking material must also be durable, easy to clean, economical and sustainable.

Examples such as the Horizon and Island Bay train seats showed how both operators’ and passengers’ needs were taken into account and met in one neat design. How can we apply ideas such as these to design in the bus industry?

Time for discussion

The day was rounded off with a workshop-style discussion with the attendees, speakers and representatives from Altro. Ideas were shared on the topics of the biggest priorities and biggest challenges in current bus design, and finally discussion on what new concerns and considerations we’ll be facing in ten years’ time.

The Altro Transport Design Forum was a truly unique opportunity to gain insight from lots of different points of view in the process of improving public transport for all. We’d like to thank all of our attendees for their thoughts and ideas, and most of all their time, and we look forward to seeing even more of you next year!

Posted: 12/06/2019 10:00:00 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments