Chippenham shuttle bus hope of cutting traffic as Dyson bids for £250m expansion (From Swindon Advertiser)
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Pilot bus scheme between town and Malmesbury HQ will be launched next month
Sir James Dyson with his company's Airblade drier. He wants to employ thousands more engineers at his company's Malmesbury headquarters
Dyson has announced a shuttle bus for staff living in Chippenham as one of the ways of cutting traffic congestion as the £250m expansion of its Malmesbury HQ takes shape.
During the next 20 years the firm, known for its innovative vacuum cleaners and other products, could employ 3,000 more engineers.
Measures to alleviate traffic congestion and parking problems in Malmesbury were included in its outline plans submitted to Wiltshire Council last week.
The shuttle bus is due to begin running in April.
The draft travel plans includ doubling the number of bicycle rack provisions from its current figure of 70, while users of the car share scheme could have allocated parking.
Two roundabouts are proposed along with more parking spaces, road widening and extra access points to the site. Flexible home working is also being investigated.
Dyson has included these measures in its draft plans having listened to concerns about parking and congestion after the firm announced its plans in January.
Architect Robin Phillips said: “The principal aims of the brief were to approximately double the usable floor area of their existing facilities, and to solve a car parking capacity problem that is currently adversely affecting their immediate neighbours.”
He confirmed that other aspects he has had to take into consideration in his plans include noise, lighting, drainage and flooding and landscape.
The proposed development includes the provision of approximately 36,750sqm of additional floor space, as well as 1, 434 car parking spaces.
“The additional car parking spaces will help to accommodate the continued expansion and growing needs of the business and therefore prevent the overflow of cars on to local streets,” he said.
Statistics in the report show that of the 1,654 staff working at Dyson (August 2013), 252 live in Malmesbury, with most living in Bristol (359) and Swindon (266).
Others were recorded as living in the Chippenham, Gloucester, Bath, Cirencester and Calne areas, with some from as far as Cardiff and Oxford.
Mr Phillips said: “Dyson has recently (March 2014) initiated a Travel Survey amongst all staff requesting that they keep a travel diary of their modes of travel across the course of a standard week.
“This information will assist in identifying possible travel measures and priorities which will in turn assist in reducing the current car reliance of the site.
“Dyson is investing in a ten per cent reduction in car drivers over a five-year timescale as part of their travel plan through car share schemes, public transport and provisions of a car-share only car park including permits for users.
“Initially, as a pilot project, a new staff coach link will be introduced in spring 2014 linking the Dyson site to and from Chippenham.
“This will provide staff that live in Chippenham with an alternative to the private car and, through calling at Chippenham Railway Station, also allow the potential for employees to use rail services from their home address to Chippenham before transferring to the coach link.”
The development site is currently home to protected species of great crested newts and badgers, as well as common bats and breeding birds.
“The overriding objective during the design process has been to retain the most significant habitat areas including established woodland, margins and ponds,” he said.
“In addition, new dedicated habit areas for great crested newts will be established along the outer perimeter of the site.”
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