Friday, 13 November 2009

Leeds business park leads the way in promoting greener transport

Caption: A member of staff finds out more about carsharing

Caption: The greener driving simulator in action

Businesses at Leeds Valley Park showed their commitment to helping their staff to save money and reduce their carbon footprints at an event this week.

In an effort to get staff to think about the environmental impact of their car journeys to work and home again, the business park held a free lunchtime information and demonstration event.

Over 100 staff took part in training in greener driving, which involved the use of a greener driving simulator, and were advised on ways to make annual savings of up to £120 on fuel and 300kg of CO2. This advice includes:

• Ensuring that tyre pressures are correct
• Avoiding unnecessary accelerating and braking
• Avoiding short, unnecessary journeys
• Switching off the engine if stationery
• Emptying the boot, and removing unused roof racks
• Sharing the journey
• Keeping within the speed limits

Information was also available to help people find out about sustainable travel modes, including searching for car share matches, bus services, cycle routes, etc.

The event was hosted by international property group Goodman, who own, develop and manage Leeds Valley Park, and was supported by Leeds City Council, Metro, the West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network and the Energy Saving Trust.

Councillor Andrew Carter, joint leader and executive member with responsibility for sustainable transport said:
“This event is a great way to show people some really easy ways to save money on their car fuel bills and do their bit for the environment as well.

“The council are committed to reducing the city's carbon emissions, and events like this are a really effective way of promoting sustainable modes of travel, which we hope will lead to more people taking these on board in Leeds."

James Raven, Development Director at Goodman said:
"Sustainability is a theme that runs through all our business parks across the country. Our customers expect a range of choices to travel to work and it is our responsibility both to them, and to the environment, to deliver green transport options. It is important to encourage people who drive to work to make their journeys as environmentally friendly as possible. This is an excellent initiative as it helps to reduce carbon footprint while helping people to save money."

The event is part of an ongoing project involving Ventura, Arla, BAE Systems and ING Car Lease at Leeds Valley Park to reduce the impact of staff travel. Ventura are now running their own shuttle bus to and from the city centre to reduce car usage, in addition to allocating two thirds of their car park for car sharers. Setting up tax free cycle-to-work schemes and offering discounted MetroCards for public transport have also proved popular amongst the businesses.

Additional info
For more tips on reducing travel to work impacts, see

For more information on Leeds Valley Park, see

Goodman Group is an integrated property group with operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the United Kingdom. Goodman Group, comprising of Goodman Limited and Goodman Industrial Trust, is the largest industrial property group listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and one of the largest listed industrial property groups globally.

Goodman offers innovative property solutions that meet the individual requirements of its customers, whilst seeking to deliver attractive long-term returns for investors. In Europe, Goodman has offices in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Turkey.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Work starts on new play area for Boston Spa

Playtime will soon be much more fun in Boston Spa now work has started on a new £130K playground.

The Deepdale play area is the first of 22 playgrounds across the city to be revamped as part of the Playbuilder project. With additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund this playground is set to be transformed with a range of challenging and exciting new equipment suitable from toddlers to teenagers.

Media opportunity:
When: Tuesday 17 November 2009 at 11am
Where: Deepdale play area, Deepdale Lane, Boston Spa
Opportunity: Members of the media are invited to photograph executive councillors at the site of the new play area. Hard hats, hi-vis vests and building equipment will be available for photography. Local children have also been invited.

A whole range of modern and adventurous play equipment will be placed alongside the popular zip-wire, which is being retained.

The new playground will boast toddler swings and a playhouse amongst other equipment for the under 5s, and a variety of swings for older children including a typhoon three-way swing and a basket swing. Older children will also enjoy the challenging climbing net.

It is hoped the new play area will be ready just in time for the Christmas holidays - weather permitting.

The design is a result of consultation with local residents and, most importantly, local children, who have influenced the choice of equipment and layout - which will include tunnels and hills.

Councillor John Procter, executive member responsible for Leisure said:
“This is the start of an exciting programme of new and improved play facilities across the city.

“The input of local residents and children was vital to make sure this play area is a popular, well used focal point for youngsters in this community now and for many years to come.”

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive member responsible for Children’s Services, said:
“Play is a really important part of growing up, it not only helps a child’s physical development but can also have a big impact on their social skills. By providing them with safe, accessible and exciting play areas like this one, we can help shape this and future generations.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713

Four years on … Headingley residents review their vision for the future

Headingley residents are being invited to come along to a meeting of their local community forum to discuss the success and future of their neighbourhood action plan.

The next meeting of the Headingley forum will be discussing the Headingley Renaissance - an action plan instigated in 2005 in which the local community identified what their priorities were for the area. The forum will discuss what has happened so far and what the next steps are.

The next meeting is on Monday 23rd November 7pm - 9pm at the Gallery Room at Headingley Community Centre.

The forum is open to local people who live in the Headingley ward who are interested in improving services and influencing decisions.

It is linked to the Inner North West Area Committee – which is made up of local ward councillors – which helps to influence decisions on local services in the area. Issues raised at the forum will be passed on to the area committee for future consideration and action.

For further information contact Zoe Tyler on 0113 395 2827 or email

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713