The Sheffield Business Park’s long-standing commitment to cutting commuters’ emissions was celebrated earlier this month when workers from across the site were invited to 3rd annual Sustainable Travel Day at the Business Centre.
Undeterred by the summer showers more than 100 local employees attended the event – taking advantage of the opportunity to test drive electric and hydrogen fuelled vehicles, scooters and bikes, as well as to seek advice about local public transport and bike hire options.
Jointly organised by the Sheffield Business Park Management team and the University of Sheffield’s Travel Plan team, 50 people also took part in an Active Travel Challenge during which people were challenged to walk, cycle or swim in a bid to cut their carbon emissions and increase their fitness; with each km completed being converted into points, and the overall winner receiving a £100 shopping voucher.
At the event on July 4th it was revealed that IT Consultant Stephen Connor – who had previously commuted every day from North Sheffield using a car – had taken the top spot; having decided to take on the challenge in a bid to get back up to full fitness following minor surgery earlier this year.
The Clarity Information Solutions employee averaged an impressive 335 points over the course of 1 month. A total of 33,500 steps, or 25.5 km, a day.
Commenting on his win Stephen said: “During the Challenge I walked or ran the 22km round trip every day. The running was a bit heavy going at first, but I found that it was taking the same time as a colleague who lives close by and gets two buses. It also helped me exercise before work which gave me more time in the evenings.
“It was great for regaining my fitness and gave me a better understanding regarding alternatives to travelling to work.”
As part of the site’s efforts to encourage more environmentally friendly commuting, the event also played host to other partners offering advice, including InMotion South Yorkshire PTE and Rotherham’s Journey Matters.
Some of the country’s biggest names in the development of more economic and environmentally friendly modes of transport, including local manufacturer ITM Power, were also on hand to showcase the latest advancements in hydrogen vehicles.
Sheffield Business Park manager Dawn Kennedy- Burns said: “Our annual sustainable Travel Day has continued to grow as more and more businesses and commuters join the Sheffield Business Park community, and this year’s event proved to be yet another great opportunity to get together and celebrate the impact that the initiative has had on the way people get to and from work.
“The Active Travel Challenge proved particularly popular.”
The expanding business park, which is already home to more than 2000 workers with capacity to house up to 5000 once future development work has been completed, has had a Framework Travel Plan in place since 2004. The last monitoring survey, which was carried out in 2015 and provides a picture of how staff are choosing to travel to the Park, why, and what might incentivise them to travel more sustainably, revealed that:
- Almost 20% of the 2000 employees based at Sheffield Business Park now use a more sustainable method of getting to work than driving alone.
- More than 150 people opt to share a vehicle for their daily commute.
- Approximately 140 employees take advantage of the local public transport services.
- Around 60 people walk or cycle to work.
Dawn said: “What’s increasingly evident 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.”
The Park’s ongoing 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 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 continued success to date and will no doubt play a key role moving forward.”
Picture Left to right: Victoria Gray, Rotherham Cycle Boost; Rachael Elliott, TPS Transport Consultants Ltd; Graeme Simington, Rotherham Cycle Boost; Karen Telling, Sheffield Business Park Ltd; Darren Hardwick, The University of Sheffield; Hayden Francis, ITM Power; Dawn Kennedy-Burns, Sheffield Business Park Ltd; Rebecca Markillie, ITM Power