The local transport sector is vital, but niche. Pre-coronavirus the business environment for titles such as LTT was already harsh. Unsurprisingly a number have ceased publishing during lockdown.
We’ve been here before, we thought. With the recession of 2010-12 came a realisation that we were in the business of knowledge-sharing and networking, rather than simply ‘publishing’. There followed a significant growth in conferences and events. The relative success of that activity has supported LTT magazine.
Our painful realisation in March 2020, was that we were not going to emerge from lockdown the way we went in. More change was coming. But we recognised the absolute importance of providing for the community we serve – through thick and thin. With this came the decision to do ‘the right thing’ and keep publishing at a time of unprecedented disruption. And go further: giving away what we do for a period so that it has been accessible to all these who needed it – be that via digital edition, the Transport Responds newsletter or the removal of the paywall on TransportXtra; and the creation of new series of webinars and online discussions.
The response in terms of record online traffic, personal notes of thanks and attendance of online events has been overwhelming.
An entirely unexpected vote of confidence has come from the number of subscribers who have renewed for three years (rather than one), plus a good number of brand new subscribers. All this has helped us to rethink LTT around how we support and work with the transport planning community going forward. The ‘new’ LTT package is the result, developed to serve the LTT community for the years ahead.
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