This way to the R.U.H.

Key workers in the Covid-19 response – who are visiting Bath’s Royal United Hospital for the first time – will now be able to reach their destination easily thanks to a new wayfinding scheme which has just been put in place.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has worked with the RUH, transport partners and wayfinding experts Applied Information Group to install new signage from the bus and train stations highlighting the quickest walking and cycling routes to the hospital.

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The scheme aims to help NHS workers and volunteers avoid getting lost on arrival in an unfamiliar city and make their journeys stress-free. 

There is also a free downloadable PDF map available through the Royal United Hospital Sustainability team with a digital version expected soon.

Councillor Joanna Wright, joint cabinet member for transport services at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “During the coronavirus pandemic more NHS staff from other areas are coming to the RUH and it was apparent some were having difficulty finding their way around an unfamiliar city easily, so there was an urgent need to make sure these critical workers had access to clear directions. I’ve been very pleased to support this scheme and bring our stakeholders and partners together to deliver this scheme rapidly. Alongside our e-bike loans for key workers, it will be another way of helping key workers to get around the city easily.”

The system was executed in little over a week by the RUH Sustainability team, First Bus, Great Western Railway and Applied Information Group.

The inexpensive toolkit has been designed by Applied, whose Founder Tim Fendley resides in Bath, and who are working pro bono on this initiative. It offers guidelines to create fast and easy-to-understand navigation which can be rolled out on a wider scale across hospitals, other key public institutions and even cities. The system highlights a route to the Hospital using a route-map. These are inexpensively placed as stepping stones along the journey. They will allow key workers and NHS staff to use unfamiliar routes to get to their workplace at the Hospital during this time of crisis.

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Tim Fendley of Applied Information Group, and Bath resident, said: “At Applied we are always thinking of how we can help people avoid getting lost, and I am extremely happy that we have been able to help ease the journey for our front line workers together with a great team. This project shows how organisations can work together in unusual ways, during unusual times.”

The idea of Strider Maps came from Applied’s work for the Legible London Walking system, where they were devised to advise tube travellers to walk to nearby tube stations as a resilience response for emergency station closure.