Businesses oppose idea of car curbs

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The Independent Online
BUSINESS leaders are at odds with the Government's stated aim of reducing car use, according to a survey by the property consultants Richard Ellis, writes Tom Stevenson.

Nearly a third of companies think they will be moving premises within five years and road access and parking are among their highest priorities.

Nearly two-thirds of the 480 companies interviewed said road infrastructure was a primary consideraton when deciding where to relocate. Almost half said the provision of railways carried no weight in their decision.

The findings conflict with recent guidance from the Department of the Environment, which has tightened planning regulations on out-of-town shopping developments, in large part because they encourage the use of cars.

The results of the survey are significant because major structural changes are forecast which could result in sweeping changes in office use and demand.

For the property development industry, one of the most significant driving forces behind companies' need to relocate is the need to reduce the size of big workforces because of automation or the outsourcing of services which used to be carried out in house.

As well as proximity to roads, other factors determining relocation decisions include total occupation costs, including rent and rates.