COUNTY councillors have unveiled green initiatives to boost business and investment at a sustainability showcase hosted by Skylon Park at Hereford’s Enterprise Zone.

More than 50 people attended the official opening by Herefordshire Council of the Straight Mile cycle and walking route in Rotherwas as well as the launch of a new flagship Park and Choose site set up by the enterprise zone and funded by the council.

Zone managing director Mark Pearce hosted the event, which took guests on a walking tour of initiatives aimed at increasing the number of people walking or cycling to work.

“Sustainability is at the heart of every investment on the zone,” he said.

“All new buildings have to meet minimum construction standards focused on efficiency and reducing the impact on the environment both during and after construction.

“We have also launched an Area Travel Plan for Rotherwas which aims to reduce the number of car journeys to Skylon Park and increase active travel journeys.”

As well as trying out the new Beryl Bikes available at the enterprise zone, as part of their City-wide distribution, visitors were able to learn about the new electric charging network and schemes, including grants, available to businesses to support sustainable business initiatives.

Infrastructure and Transport cabinet member John Harrington officially opened the Park and Choose site.

“By improving our infrastructure and making it safer, easier and more convenient for people to travel by bike or foot, we can help to reduce the number of cars on the road and allow everybody the chance to boost their health and wellbeing while travelling in an environmentally friendly way," he said.

The Straight Mile scheme is one-mile designated off-road walking and cycling path which stretches from Thorn Industrial estate and across the Hereford Enterprise Zone.

The overall park and choose scheme was set up in 2011 and includes 25 registered sites across the county which allow people travelling into Hereford to park and travel the final section of their journey by bike or foot. The expanded site at Rotherwas replaces a former site.

Environment, economy and skills cabinet member Trish Marsh officially opened the Straight Mile scheme.

“Climate change is a huge challenge and one that we can only face together," she said.

"The council unanimously declared a Climate Emergency earlier this year and we are one of the leading local authorities tackling climate issues, having cut the county’s carbon emissions by over 30% in the last eight years and recently committing to the aspiration of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“Although this is a good foundation, there is a lot more to do, and the more we encourage people to choose active methods of travel over motor transport, the more we can protect and preserve our beautiful environment.”

For more information, visit Herefordshire Council's website.