Commuters cut back on car use thanks to Sheffield Business Park’s green initiative

Business Centre hosts sustainable travel day to showcase latest sustainable transport gadgets

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More South Yorkshire commuters than ever are opting to leave their cars at home in favour of a growing number of sustainable transport methods, thanks to a green initiative being managed by the Sheffield Business Park.

The latest figures from a travel survey carried out by the site show that the total number of people driving to and from work alone has decreased over the last two years, whereas those choosing to car share have increased.

In addition, the statistics show that people choosing to walk to the office is also on the up, and cycling is a more popular choice than it was when the initiative was initially rolled out in 2004.

The success of the programme was celebrated earlier this week when workers from across the site – which is located just off Junction 33 of the M1 on the Sheffield Parkway – were invited to attend a Sustainable Travel Day at the park’s Business Centre.

Some of the country’s biggest names in the development of more economic and environmentally friendly modes of transport were on hand to showcase the latest gadgets; including Nissan who bought their electric Leaf vehicle for people to test drive, as well as Sheffield Business Park-based ITM Power who brought along a Hydrogen fuelled Toyota car.

As part of the site’s ‘ongoing commitment’ to encouraging green commuting the event also played host to other partners offering advice, including SYPTE’s InMotion, Rotherham’s Journey Matters, First UK Bus and the University of Sheffield.

Sheffield Business Park manager Dawn Kennedy- Burns said: “Our sustainable Travel Day was a great opportunity to get together and celebrate the impact that the green initiative has had on the way people get to and from work.

“What’s evident from the latest statistics is that commuters are thinking differently about the wider impact on the environment, their health and their pockets when it comes to choosing whether to walk, cycle, car share or catch public transport.

“No doubt the latest gadgets which were on hand to trial will further fuel that appetite for change in the coming months.”

Already home to more than 2000 workers, with capacity to house up to 5000 once future development work has been completed; the Park’s ongoing green initiative – established in 2004 – is supported by sustainable travel planning consultants, TPS, who specialise in travel planning and development planning advice.

Principle consultant for TPS, Rachael Elliott, said: “The Sheffield Business Park is in a prime location for commuters coming from all over South Yorkshire regardless of their mode of transport.

“The green programme, which has been in place since 2004, has the support of a number of local initiatives promoting more sustainable transport, as well as several of the park’s own tenants – including the University of Sheffield and ITM Power. This has been fundamental to its success to date.”

Attendees at the Sustainable Travel Day were able sign up to a free three month bike hire scheme with the option of either an electric or a standard bike. Those already used to getting around on two wheels were also offered a free bike health check to ensure they were ready for the winter months ahead.

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