Loods 5 shows employees the way to P+R Noord
"We want to discourage people as much as possible from commuting by car"
On 7 March 2019, the furniture and lifestyle shop Loods 5 opened its doors in the former Sphinx factory buildings. Although the beautifully refurbished buildings are located next to a car park, Loods 5 encourages its employees to commute by public transport or bicycle.
Employees who park their car at P+R Maastricht Noord and do the last leg of the journey by bus have their P+R subscription reimbursed every month. On the other hand, employees wanting to do the whole journey by car lose out on that money. ‘We want to discourage people as much as possible from commuting by car,’ says branch manager Pascal van Loo. ‘Soon we'll have a spacious, safe bicycle shed for the staff. We expect employees living within a ten-kilometre radius of work to commute by bicycle if the weather's nice.’
Always a place
Véronique de Keijzer is one of the employees who uses P+R Maastricht Noord. ‘It costs a lot to park in Maastricht, and I can't just park a bit further away and walk the rest. Loods 5 is huge; we walk a lot of kilometres during the day. I just want to sit down on my journey home, so the P+R is the ideal solution for me. There's always room to park, and I never have to wait long for the bus.’
Setting a good example
‘Of course, I need to set a good example,’ says Pascal. ‘So if I don't have any appointments off-site, I'll come by train from Valkenburg. I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about that. I don't often take public transport, so it took some research to find the quickest bus route from Maastricht's main railway station to Loods 5.’ But Maastricht Bereikbaar got into gear, and Pascal is very pleased they did. ‘After a conversation with one of Maastricht Bereikbaar's mobility brokers, they added a news report to the website showing people all the different ways to travel to Loods 5. To make sure people have access to all mobility information, our website even links to Maastricht Bereikbaar's. It's fantastic that we can work together to make it easier to travel to the city.’
We work with many suppliers who often travel from far away. ‘But they never drive a kilometre too many, and they never come for nothing. We have a very clear stock system, so that everyone can plan exactly when new items need to be delivered.’ Loods 5's home delivery team also plan their journeys as efficiently as possible. ‘We don't drive to customers every day. We also don't deliver until we can visit about eight to ten addresses in one day, and we explain that approach to customers.’
Pascal and Véronique still have some tips on travelling to the city. ‘It seems as if infrastructure and public transport haven't caught up with how big the city has become and is becoming,’ says Pascal. ‘The traffic situation around Loods 5, the Eiffelgebouw building, and the two cinemas still needs some fine-tuning. We often see people looking for entrances and logical routes, like how to get to Muziekgieterij, and standing in the middle of the road and or on the pavement looking confused. We'd like to add an extra bus stop and clearer signposting.’
P+R Maastricht Noord should be promoted more ‘When I go home, the bus is usually quite full of people who went shopping in Maastricht,’ says Véronique. ‘But they all seem to be local to Maastricht.’ Pascal confirms: ‘Nobody in Valkenburg has heard of P+R Maastricht Noord. And people in Belgium aren't even familiar with the concept. I think we need to roll out a publicity and information campaign across the border.’
Parking facilities for shoppers
Visitors to Loods 5 who plan to do a big shopping trip can use Q-Park's Sphinx or P+W Frontenpark car parks, both of which are close to the shop. If you're not buying too much and would also like to visit the city centre, P+R Maastricht Noord is a convenient place to park. It’s only two minutes’ drive away from the A2 (exit 52) and A79 (exit 1) motorways and offers free parking. Arriva's bus number 10 to the city centre and back departs every fifteen minutes for only €2 per person.