Gloucester and Cheltenham-based Pure Office Business Parks see the (cycle) light

Business parks beat congestion with ramped up cycle facilities

Pure Office Business Park has begun to offer a bike-share scheme, secure cycle store, showers, a free towel service and lockers to businesses and staff on the sites to deal with increased parking congestion.

Steve Preston, manager of Pure Office Business Park, Quedgeley, Gloucester, said it was up to Pure Office to take the initiative, rather than put the emphasis to switching to cycling on staff and businesses.

Founded in 2009, Pure Offices has grown to 18 separate business park locations across the country.

Preston explained the need for installing cycle facilities: “When our property at Kestrel Court was first developed the car space allocation was suitable. However with more businesses now on site, and over 315 centre users, it has become more and more congested. In recent years I have often been asked by new business enquiries’ what facilities we have for commuters?”

“So we looked at why our business users were not using alternative transport. Surprisingly many of our users lived less than 5 miles away from the centre, and with a Park & Ride facility nearby and great access roads, we soon realised they needed to provide resources to enable them to change their commuting habits”.

Last year Pure Offices organised their first Sustainable Transport Day in conjunction with the Council’s Thinktravel team. They also promoted their on-site bike maintenance workshop and provided information for cycle routes to and from the centre, giving users personal travel planning advice. 

Pure Offices then applied for a grant from Gloucestershire County Council’s ‘Thinktravel’ campaign which is aimed at encouraging employees to think about their method of travel to work by whatever means and ‘think green’. Whilst the focus of the grant was ‘sustainability’ it also encompassed such areas as:

  • Designated car share spaces
  • Cycle education
  • Value for money
  • Electric vehicle charging points

The ‘multi-model commuter challenge’ works alongside this campaign, and encourages employees to log their journeys by walking, cycling, public transport or car share and accrue ‘points’ to be redeemed for awards and discounts.

Gloucestershire County Council awarded a £7,160 grant to Pure Offices Gloucester and Cheltenham business centres, which they in-turn have matched the sum, to provide their centre users four branded bicycles as part of a bike-share scheme, secure cycle store, showers, a free towel service and lockers (all of which are free to use).

Preston added: “It is hoped that the introduction of these new facilities will see a 20 per cent increase of cycle users at both sites, and the scheme rolled out to all their 18 centres across the country.”

Thomas Evans, Project Officer for the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, said “Pure Offices have been one of the most active organisations in promoting sustainable travel within Gloucestershire. They have been forthcoming in providing assistance to the Thinktravel team and have always been easy to work with when implementing their business travel grant infrastructure and in attending and organising sustainable travel day events. Manager Steve Preston has been particularly focused on supplying the workforce with as many sustainable travel options as possible when commuting to work; this was highlighted recently by his successful efforts to get the number 12 bus service extended into Waterwells Business Park.”

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