We recently gained planning consent for additional car parking as part of a package of measures to address car parking issues at Tesco head office at Shire Park in Welwyn Garden City. The office accommodates over 5,000 members of staff and had around 2,500 car parking spaces. We carried out a Travel Survey of Tesco employees to determine existing travel patterns and identify possible ways of influencing a change in them. A high number of employees choose to drive to work, creating a demand which far exceeds supply of car parking resulting in double parking and parking on nearby residential streets.

The findings of the travel survey enabled us to develop a comprehensive Travel Plan which included measures such as the introduction of an incentivised car sharing scheme, priority car parking spaces, enhanced changing facilities, and the installation of barrier controls at individual car parks to restrict occupancy and better manage supply. An on-site Travel Plan Coordinator formed a key element of the Travel Plan and has been instrumental in taking the Travel Plan forward.

As an intrinsic part of these measures, a permanent decked extension to the car park was proposed providing an additional 440 spaces, and a permanent consent for a previous temporary consent for around 230 spaces was sought. This total level of car parking exceed that set out in local planning guidance but our analysis, alongside a robust package of measures to improve the active and sustainable transport offer, resulted in approval for the additional 670 spaces, thereby providing a better quality working environment for Tesco staff, and relieving significant on-street issues in the surrounding area.