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Sheffield Business Park demonstrates commitment to sustainable travel as site gears up for growth

Representatives from The University of Sheffield; ITM Power; Sheffield Business Park Ltd; TPS Transport Consultants Ltd.

The Sheffield Business Park has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to encouraging sustainable travel in a bid to cut commuters’ emissions earlier this month when workers from across the site were invited to 5th annual Sustainable Travel Day at the Business Centre.

The event – which is dedicated to cutting emissions, promoting health and wellbeing and improving workplace accessibility at the site – comes following recent news that planning had been granted for ‘Phase 4’ of the Business Park which currently spans 200 acres.

Attendees on the day took advantage of the opportunity to ride in hydrogen fuelled vehicles and have a go on electric scooters from Ginger; with many also taking part in a lunchtime walk around the Business Park.

Those keen on embracing an eco-friendly commute were offered a free bike servicing from Dr Bike, courtesy of Bike Rehab.

Jointly organised by the Sheffield Business Park Management team and the University of Sheffield’s Travel Plan team, the popular event seeks to showcase the latest in environmentally friendly travel options, encouraging employees to ‘give it a go’.

Some of the country’s biggest names in the development of more economic and environmentally friendly modes of transport, including local manufacturer ITM Power, who provided the opportunity to ride in a hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai, were on hand to answer questions and give demonstrations.

Already home to the UK’s first state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Factory 2050, Phase 4 of the development will lead to further expansion of the site which will transform an 18 Acre plot of land between Europa Link and the A630 dual carriageway in Rotherham in order to create a prominent business gateway to the wider Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID).

Sheffield Business Park manager Dawn Kennedy- Burns said: “The Sheffield Business Park continues to expand, and with the recent planning approval for Phase 4 we remain committed to ensuring that travel to the site is as sustainable as possible year on year.

“We are delighted to see the influence that the initiative has had on those who commute here to date, and we hope to build on that success over the coming months.”

The expanding business park, which is already home to over 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 and is supported by sustainable transport consultants, TPS, who specialise in travel planning and development planning advice.

The last travel survey, which was carried out in 2017 provides a picture of how staff are choosing to travel to the Park and what might incentivise them to travel more sustainably in the future, revealed that:

  • 21% of the 2000 employees based at Sheffield Business Park choose to use a more sustainable method of getting to work than driving alone (increased from 19% in 2015)
  • Around 160 people opt to share a vehicle for their daily commute
  • Approximately 200 employees take advantage of the local public transport services
  • Around 60 people walk or cycle to work

Dawn said: “We have seen that commuters are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment. More and more people are turning to methods of transport like walking, cycling, car sharing and public transport, which help to reduce their carbon footprint and the costs of commuting.

“No doubt the latest gadgets which were on hand to trial – including electric scooters hydrogen fuelled cars – 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.

Director for TPS, Georgina Stares, said: “The Sheffield Business Park is ideally placed for those commuting from across the city and beyond, whether by car, bike or bus.

“Through this programme, the Sheffield Business Park has been promoting sustainability for 15 years. We are glad to have had the support of several local businesses for this initiative, including some of the park’s tenants, such as the University of Sheffield and ITM power.

“This year’s sustainable travel day, like the programme as a whole, will have a lasting impact on the commuting habits of the Sheffield Business Park.”