The problem with business parks
With their alluring accessibility and plentiful free parking, business parks don’t seem to tick many boxes when it comes to sustainable travel. Often in rural or out-of-town locations, they don’t feel the pressures of congestion charging, city centre gridlock or pricey carparks.
Single-occupancy vehicles are the norm, even though many staff live close enough to walk or cycle to work.
Even where organisations encourage shared travel, a car-centric culture means employees don’t get the chance to reap the rewards of active commuting. (Your office may be situated within several million square feet of countryside and boast an on-site gym, but imagine the benefits of doing your daily workout and your commute at the same time, and enjoying secure bike parking and great shower and changing facilities when you’re done.)
The better news: corporate social responsibility
Happily, many organisations are adopting sustainable travel plans as part of their corporate social responsibility strategy.
With the average car-sharer saving £1,000 a year, corporate car-sharing schemes are a bit like a pay-rise.
Peer-to-peer rental services like Drivy and easyCar (which lets owners rent their cars out privately), together with carpooling clubs such as Zipcar and corporate schemes, are rivalling old-style rental companies (like Avis – which now owns Zipcar).
And the trend is set to continue. Research suggests that the number of people using car-sharing services will increase almost threefold, from roughly six million in 2017 to almost 18 million by 2025.
With a ready-made community all going to the same workplace, organisations located on business parks can collectively meet the running costs of these schemes. Together, they can make the daily commute part of the sharing economy.