Staff asked to take a green route to workBy Victoria Corbett
November 29, 2010
Major employers in Wokingham have teamed up to launch a transport initiative aimed at encouraging staff to cycle, walk or run to work.
BG Group, Oracle, Microsoft and ING Direct have teamed up to form easitThames Valley Park in a bid to encourage employees to consider more sustainable transport alternatives.
The group aims to help reduce the environmental impacts of road transport, while promoting the health benefits of cycling, walking or running to work.
Wokingham and Reading borough councils are also involved in the new transport group and are working with the companies to create new and cheaper travel options and lobby changes to public transport provision.
Keith Matthews, chairman of the Thames Valley Park (TVP) transport steering group, said: “As socially responsible and environmentally aware employers, we are all committed to reducing local road congestion by providing employees with alternative ways to travel to TVP.
“This initiative is designed to appeal to everyone by providing both practical support and a range of options with flexibility over how they commute.”
Mel Mehmet, chief executive of easitNetwork, which is delivers sustainable transport initiatives around the country and will be working with easitThames Valley Park, said: “Sustainable business practice is no longer a niche, but a mainstream movement across the whole spectrum of the business community.
“There exists a real desire to address transport and parking issues and that is where easit can help.
“Where others are still talking about how to deal with the congestion on our roads, the easitNETWORK members are leading the way I’m delighted to be working with such high profile names in the Thames Valley.”
Initiatives on offer at TVP include folding bicycles on loan to overcome the obstacle of peak hour bans on trains and the potential to introduce electric charging posts for electric vehicle use.
Councillor Keith Baker, executive member for highways and corporate affairs at Wokingham council, said: “easitTVP is a great example of big business working together with the council to address some of the transport challenges in the area.
“We need to make better use of the resources and innovation the private sector can bring to these issues.
“I believe other employers, not just in Wokingham but across the Thames Valley region, should look very carefully at this approach as a model to address their transport issues.”
Membership is open to all occupiers at the park and it is hoped other firms will come on board with the easitNETWORK.