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Activity Wales Events uses Causeway to manage Europe’s biggest multisport event



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About Activity Wales Events and the Long Course Weekend

Activity Wales Events, a renowned sports events company, proudly stands as the creators of the Long Course Weekend and Iron Man Wales.

Located in Tenby, along the Pembrokeshire coast, the Long Course Weekend spans three days and is the largest multisport festival in Europe. The event consistently draws a significant audience of over 12,500 athletes and 35,000 supporters from 56 countries!

The Challenge

The Long Course Weekend lineup features the iconic Wales Swim, known as one of the largest open-water swimming competitions in the UK, the Wales Marathon, the Wales Half Marathon, the Wales 10k, and Wales 5k.

Participants can also opt for a challenging 112-mile, 70-mile, or 40-mile cycling course, winding through the stunning landscapes of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

All of these sports events require the temporary closure of large sections of the road network to ensure the safety of the participating athletes, spectators, communities, and other road users. However, this crucial safety measure brings the challenge of significant disruption and delays for the traveling public and local businesses. This is further worsened by the influx of summer tourists in Pembrokeshire.

Key to managing the event, therefore, is efficient and effective communication. Unfortunately, until recently, Activity Wales Events relied on a limited, manual approach. The team’s process involved mapping road closures and event routes onto static map screenshots, which were then uploaded to the Long Course Weekend website.

This method proved to be both time-consuming and led to unnecessary duplication. Whenever changes were needed for closures or routes, the entire task had to be redone and the map screenshot re-uploaded. Additionally, using static screenshots meant the map lacked detail, making it harder for viewers to grasp how the closures could affect their own journeys or work. This often caused a high volume of inbound queries before the event as people looked for more information and clarifications.
In preparation for the 2023 Long Course Weekend, Activity Wales Events aimed to revamp their communication, ensuring they could effectively convey closure information to the public and other stakeholders, both before and during the event.

They looked to Causeway for a simple, digital solution!

The Solution

Thanks to Causeway, Activity Wales Events was able to provide a seamless digital experience for the community leading up to and during the Long Course Weekend.

The result? A significant decrease in traffic congestion on the roads and the number of public inquiries received.

Streamlined Pre-Event Planning & Communications

Working with Pembrokeshire County Council, Activity Wales Events planned, mapped, and posted all the closures for the event on the Causeway map, making it easily accessible not only to the general public but also to local businesses, utility companies, and contractors operating in the area.

Providing this detailed visibility of closures before the event on an interactive map gave the public the power to self-serve and better plan their trips. This approach led to a significant decrease in inbound inquiries compared to previous years.

Additionally, sharing all closure information on Causeway allowed Pembrokeshire County Council and utility companies to coordinate their roadwork and avoid conflicts with the event schedule, reducing the risk of congestion build-up over the weekend.
By embedding the map into the Long Course Weekend website, Activity Wales Events also offered stakeholders a simple, quick, and clear overview of the event’s potential impact on the roads without having to direct them to an external site or system.

“It was important to us at Activity Wales Events to reduce the impact that Long Course Weekend closures have on the community. We wanted to improve how we plan and communicate disruptions so we can keep everyone safe and informed, allowing people to reach their destinations promptly.”

– Scott Powell, Director & Co-Founder, Activity Wales Events

Real-time closure comms for drivers

During the Long Course Weekend, Activity Wales Events utilized the connected Live Link mobile app to notify drivers of closures through popular GPS apps like Google, Waze, Apple Maps, TomTom, and Here Technologies.

With a quick tap on their mobile devices, the Activity Wales Events team could activate road closures and relay them to navigation apps in near real-time. This guaranteed that drivers received prompt notifications and were efficiently rerouted around closures.

Live Link gave them the ability to influence driver behavior during the event, leading to a notable decrease in traffic congestion on the road network. It also improved safety for spectators and athletes by reducing the occurrences of drivers trying to navigate closed routes.

“We definitely saw a significant improvement in traffic flow throughout the event. Sharing closure information on Causeway and pushing it out to GPS systems via Live Link meant we were able to keep everyone informed and limit congestion to a minimum.”

– Sarah Wills, Operations Manager, Activity Wales Events

A close collaboration between Activity Wales Events and first responders during the Long Course Weekend was also enabled by Live Link. This meant that in the event of an emergency, a rapid road closure could be put in place and communicated, guaranteeing that emergency services could quickly reach the scene.

Key Outcomes

  • Improved safety for residents, spectators, and athletes by offering detailed closure info online.
  • Avoided clashes with road and street projects by providing a clear overview of the event’s impact on the roads.
  • Reduced traffic on the road network during the event by communicating closures to GPS apps in near real-time.
  • Minimized the number of inquiries from the public and local businesses before the event.

For more information on how Causeway and Live Link can improve your event planning and communications, get in touch.