Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Travel Demand Management

In 2017, it was announced that the city of Birmingham had been successful in its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It would be the largest multi-sport event held in England since the London 2012 Olympics.

In late 2021, ITP was appointed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) to provide a secondee to the role of “Senior Travel Demand Management (TDM) Officer” for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The role would include focusing on “background demand”, the travelling public and businesses in the West Midlands region who would be trying to continue their day-to-day activities while the Games were happening.


The secondment role involved working in a team of five with TfWM’s Commonwealth Games Travel Demand Manager leading the team. In the initial stages, the secondment involved conducting research on existing travel patterns and behaviours in the West Midlands using the wealth of data TfWM had available.

This included producing a document called the “Core Narrative”. The Core Narrative was a live document and provided the “single source of truth”, it helped the TDM team to home in on key priority areas for TDM interventions and included data such as: congestion hotspots, unserved spectator demand, public transport strengthening etc.

This initial research enabled the TDM team to design a bespoke and targeted TDM campaign and engagement approach.

Raging Bull with Library in background
Victoria Square Festival Site


The design phase of the TDM secondment involved significant stakeholder mapping and prioritisation based on each business and its proximity to Games venues, to Road Events, to congested areas and more. This exercise was completed across nine local authority areas to support the TDM team in designing the engagement approach.

Once this was completed, intermediaries, businesses and organisations were provided with a red, amber or green rating based on a number of factors including staff numbers, nature of the business, number of freight movements etc. This prioritisation informed the delivery phase.

Other elements of this phase included creating a new engagement approach which replaced the traditional Games Travel Action Plan with an interactive dynamic form – this provided businesses with quick tasks they could complete to help them adapt to the Games. The TDM team also fed into the production of business toolkits, newsletters, posters, website content and many other engagement tools.


During the delivery phase of the secondment, engagement with a variety of businesses and intermediaries was completed to help them plan, prepare and adapt their transport arrangements and operations ready for the Games.

As part of the secondment, ITP played a significant role in engaging with all NHS Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and private care providers across the West Midlands, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. This was a vital piece of work as it was crucial to ensure that NHS staff and private care providers could travel around with as minimal disruption as possible. Engagement work included providing these contacts with information on hotspots on the road, rail and bus network so staff could better plan ahead. Early access and explanation of alternative route options were also provided in relation to the four Road Events that took place as part of the Commonwealth Games which created significant disruption.

All aspects of delivery during this part of the secondment focused on the 4Rs of TDM which stands for: Reduce, Re-route, Re-time or Re-mode. The basis of this part of the delivery was to redistribute background demand trips in either space, time or mode in order to free up capacity on the transport network in priority areas to ensure a smooth and efficient trip for both spectators and athletes, Games family etc.

The TDM team also conducted several engagement sessions with businesses both in person, online and live on social media streams. A “TDM” newsletter was also delivered to approx. 1,500 recipients, and during the Games this turned into a daily newsletter providing information on what to expect on the transport network in relation to each geographical area.

During “Games Time”, the secondment role provided by ITP as part of the TDM team morphed from the provision of a “Senior TDM Officer” into the provision of a “TDM Operational Lead”.

This involved working shifts within TfWM’s Tactical Transport Facility (TTF) and using an extensive knowledge of Games operations and the local area / local businesses to support the wider TDM and communications team in responding to any live disruptions on the transport network during the Games.

Me presenting to Wolverhampton businesses
T Vs in Tactical Transport Facility


At the time of writing (September 2022), we are awaiting the final reports from TfWM including a report which evaluates the TDM input into the Commonwealth Games. We will link this document here once it becomes available.

However, as part of the secondment role provided by ITP monitoring and evaluation were key threads throughout the Commonwealth Games. Multiple key performance indicators were put in place to monitor the TDM Background Demand Programme including the number of presentations/webinars/events conducted, the number of dynamic forms completed by businesses, the number of sign-ups to the TDM newsletter etc.

The Background Demand programme also received very positive feedback from many businesses and intermediaries that the team engaged with. Importantly, the Commonwealth Games ran smoothly and people were able to get to where they needed to be.

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