Project case study - Keeping the community informed

Ensuring that residents, businesses, road users and community organisations were kept up to date with the project was of key importance to the successful delivery of the A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project. By providing clear, transparent information and facilitating direct access to the project team via multiple communication platforms, members of the public were able to liaise directly with the project team,  helping to improve communication and fosters a culture of trust between the project and the public.

The project deployed a number of different initiatives to ensure that the community could easily contact the project team with any questions or concerns.

This included a freephone project enquiries line, a central project inbox for email communication and a ‘drop in’ exibition room at the site office where members of the public could visit to learn more about the project or speak to the Community Liaison Team.

In addition, the project offered some more innovative ways of keeping the public informed and providng inclusive and transparent opportunities to engage.

‘Meet the Contractor’ Events

Shortly following contract award, the project team worked collaboratively to offer the residents of Luncarty, Stanley and Bankfoot, the opportunity to meet with key people involved in the project and to hear first-hand how this significant infrastructure project would benefit the surrounding communities.

These three informal drop-in day events provided residents with the opportunity to view the plans for construction of the new road layout and provided an overview of what the construction works would involve.

People at Meet the Contractor event at Bankfoot 2018
Meet the Contractor, Bankfoot 2018

The events were supported by senior team members from the contractor, Balfour Beatty, and design consultants at Atkins and Jacobs as well as representatives from Transport Scotland, who were on hand to answer any questions the community had about the project.

Mobile Exhibition Centre

Another innovative feature of the project was the use of a mobile exhibition trailer.

The more disruptive elements of the works, such as the planned overnight closures of the A9, had the potential to have a wide reaching impact on road users beyond the immediate surrounding communities. Therefore engaging with communities further afield was of paramount importance to minimise disruption to services and communities along the A9 corridor.

The mobile exhibition centre at House of Bruar
The mobile exhibition centre at House of Bruar

By deploying this mobile resource, the project team was able to take the project message ‘on the road’ and engage directly with a much wider audience – and most importantly, those most likley to be impacted.

Community Council Forum

Community Councils represent an extremely important local stakeholder group for infrastructure projects. Getting them on board with the project at an early stage is key to unlocking a vital partner to help communicate with the wider community.

People at a community event watching a presentation
Community Council Forum #2, April 2019

The A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project created a Community Council Forum (CCF) to offer a setting for representatives to meet regularly and receive project updates. This forum provided the community with the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns via the CCF and developed a strong relationship with the project team.

The forums were timed to coincide with major works such as the installation of the temporary roundabout at Bankfoot or the overnight closures of the A9 carriageway for bridge beam installations.