Sustainable travel award for Birmingham Business Park

Cllr Judith Rowley, lead member for safe & sustainable travel on the WMCA’s transport delivery committee, Gareth Webber of Sustrans, workplaces officer for Solihull Council, Birmingham Business Park cycle champion, Simon Reynolds of Changan, and Simon Forth, TfWM smarter choices officer.

Birmingham Business Park has earned both Top Cycling and Top Walking Location Bronze status, awarded by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

The award is in recognition of its commitment to supporting sustainable commuting among some 7000 people based there.

TfWM, the transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), presents the awards each year to businesses and educational establishments taking action to encourage alternatives to daily driving.

The park has installed cycle stands and is working jointly with businesses on site to encourage active travel.

Cllr Judith Rowley, lead member for safe & sustainable travel on the WMCA’S transport delivery committee, presented the certificates.

She said she was delighted to reward their commitment and looked forward to more co-operation in the future.

Cllr Rowley’s visit to the park’s management centre followed the first meeting of the Birmingham Business Park Cycle Forum.

She said: “It is great to see so much effort being made to encourage sustainable commuting and promote the health, environmental and economic benefits of cycling and walking.

“Our TfWM team work with many different organisations and I would say this initiative is particularly impressive in the way the park operators have managed to motivate and bring together a variety of businesses to look at this idea – I do congratulate them.”

The Forum was established by park development manager Liz Allister, who has been a driving force behind the scheme, managing to involve people from the diverse group of organisations on site.

She has worked with representatives from tenant companies, with TfWM’s sustainable travel team, cycling training company BikeRight!, Sustrans and Solihull Council to improve onsite cycling facilities and organise activities to help involve all the employers in creating a cycling community.

Liz said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition of our commitment to sustainability – we take it very seriously.

“We work hard here to support a balanced lifestyle and promote health and wellbeing, sustainable transport and biodiversity.

“Our central location means we are easily accessible by public transport and we are putting a lot of effort into encouraging employees to consider cycling as a commuting option.”

Simon Reynolds, an advanced quality engineer at Changan UK R&D Centre Ltd, is cycling champion for the business park.

Simon, who commutes from Erdington, has cycled to work for years. He said: “Taking better care of the environment and ourselves is a high priority topic for the future.

“We want to support existing cyclists – and encourage new recruits – as part of a continuing health and fitness initiative.”

Birmingham Business Park is home to 120 businesses on a 148-acre site near Solihull.

The management team is currently working on its next sustainable travel project – an all-site car-share scheme for tenant companies.