The events of Covid-19 have taken us all by surprise as it has had such a profound effect on public transport. When we returned to work, Hampshire County Council wanted to do everything they could to advise passengers how buses were now to be used, and to make sure passengers knew where to find revised bus service times.

We were asked to advise what we could do in terms of signage. When it comes to important communication like this, simple is always best and we undertook several iterations to ensure the messaging was clear, simple and easy to follow. We came up with an A4 sign as well as a stencil which would be spray-painted onto the footway around bus stop poles and bus shelters.

Hampshire chose to stencil 600 stops with 2 stencils each and put out A4 signs at 3250 stops. We were given a stops list which was produced by Zak La Gumina, the Hampshire County Council Transport Inspector to make sure the priority stops were accounted for.

We received the first list on 3rd June and in 5 weeks we completed the following:

  • Agreed the final design with Hampshire (including a last minute edit when it looked like the 2m was going to be reduced which was just as we were about to print so wording was changed to maintain social distancing so it is correct for whatever the distance changes to).
  • Sorted all the stops into routed order using our in-house bus stop routing software.
  • Arranged for the stencils to be manufactured
  • Printed 3250 signs and laid them up onto correx boards
  • Routed all stops into batches for our works teams in "stop order" (i.e. matching the printed materials with the route and the team schedule)
  • Visited all 3250 sites and put out the signs and spray-painted the stencils (when weather allowed)
  • Took photos of all works completed for quality control and client approval.

We would have finished one week earlier, but due to a burst of wet weather, we could not complete all the stencils when planned.

To be able to mobilise our design, procurement, scheduling, production and fieldwork teams at this speed in order to manage this many stops, is one of reasons Externiture excels in the scoping, management and administration of these types of projects. We have invested in the hardware, software technologies and staff training to make Externiture more efficient and able to coordinate large-scale projects. It also means we can do small projects just as easily and at competitive prices.