GCSE Geography Assessment:
Investigate the extent to which Meadowhall could be described as “environmentally friendly”.
By Emma Fitzpatrick 10R
“Investigate the extent to which Meadowhall can be described as environmentally friendly” The centre was first opened on the 4th September 1990. The 80 acre site was and still is a Brownfield site which means you can build on this land. With a floor area of 1,500,000sq ft, it is the seventh largest shopping centre in the U.K. With over 280 stores, the centre attracted 19.8 million visitors in its first year of opening, and now attracts about 30 million visitors a year. It took two years to clear the land of waste, and there was 100,000 tonnes of waste from the toxic site by the River Don. The main reason the centre is so successful is because of its location. The centre id located at junction 34 off the motorway-“The M1 is the lifeline to Meadowhall.” Meadowhall can be extremely busy in the run up to Christmas, and the January sales. There can be up to 140,000 visitors at Christmas just the day after Boxing Day. The reason I have chosen to investigate Meadowhall is because it is local.
Meadowhall is one of the largest out of town shopping centres in the U.K, and it could be described as “environmentally friendly” because it was the first U.K shopping centre to develop an on-site recycling facility. The recycling centre was opened in 2006 and has been ongoing for the past 6 years. The centre recycles 97% of waste from retailers and customers, with the remaining 3% going to incineration; no waste goes to landfill. The waste is sorted into paper, plastic, cardboard, cans etc. by a conveyor belt system to separate out the different types of waste. Also they have set up lots of initiatives and measures to give people other sustainable transport to get to and from Meadowhall, for example: * Cycling initiatives- including bike-safe training, biker user group for Meadowhall employees (BUG ME) and Dr. Bike; * Free fuel for electric cars;
* Personalised travel information for busses, trams and trains; * Adult and family cycle training launched march 2008- offering free training for employees; * The Passenger Transport Interchange.
Primary benefits for the staff:
* Last year on average 5 employees per month switched to sustainable travel modes. In terms of staff only 20% use a car to drive to work; * 55% of employees use public transport, 16% car share, while 7% cycle, walk or use motorcycles; * In terms of visitors, public transport has increased by over one percentage point while the number of visitors driving indicates a significant level of car sharing at 16%; * 400 staff last year requested a personal travel plan.
* Helps to aid the reduction of local traffic congestion; * Improves access for staff and visitors- more time working and shopping and less time queuing in traffic; * Reduces carbon footprint for staff and visitors.
Also Meadowhall has its own public transport interchange, making it the only shopping centre in the U.K that combines a bus, rail and tram interchange as well as making it the centre easily accessible to both the local region and the rest if the country. The “catchment” area is a one hour drive which covers an area as far as north as Harrogate, south as Leicester, east as Hull and Grimsby and as far west as Manchester. There are approximately 25 million visitors each year. And since the PTI has been added to the centre, it has the best public transport services of any shopping centre in the U.K. also because most people use the M1 to travel to Meadowhall, it actually saves fuel than going on the back roads through the country side, because if you travel at a constant speed on the M1, you won’t use as much petrol and it won’t take as long, because on the country roads there usually is a lot of turns and corners...
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