Fleet News

Vodafone boosts staff travel plan in bid to gain planning permission

VODAFONE Airtouch has significantly enhanced its 'green' staff travel plan to boost its chances of securing planning permission for a new headquarters building just outside Newbury. The UK's second largest company has already received planning permission from Newbury Council, but is awaiting ratification from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

The mobile phone giant has now amended its original submission, promising to reduce the number of parking spaces at the proposed new HQ from 2,000 to 1,500. The reduction follows the success of an initiative in one part of the company to buy staff out of their parking space for £1,000 per year.

Vodafone's shuttle bus for travel between its 58 Newbury offices has also proved successful, and is now credited with cutting 800 to 1,000 car journeys per week. The firm has now recruited a travel co-ordinator to supervise its green transport initiative, and a spokesman said: 'We anticipate being ahead of Government policy and being in the vanguard of the green commuting movement.'

The company's revisions to its planning application mean the plans will go back before Newbury Council on November 1, and then pass to the DETR if they gain approval. If all goes to schedule, the firm hopes to start construction next year and occupy the building in 2002.

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