Gareth Evans has been appointed national sustainable travel & transport manager for intu, the UK’s leading owner, manager and developer of prime regional shopping centres.
Gareth, 36, grew up in south west London and moved to the north east in 2000 to study Surveying and Mapping Science at Newcastle University, graduating with first class honours in 2003. Gareth continued his studies in Newcastle, gaining an MSc in Transport Engineering and Operations, followed by a PhD in Geomatics at the University of Glasgow.
After graduation Gareth returned to the north east, living in Hexham, to take up the role of Research Associate in Public Transport Systems at Newcastle University where he was involved in a number of national and international projects.
“I’ve always had an interest in the transport field” Gareth said, “it plays a vital part for the economy and is crucial for all our lives to function effectively. Whilst we all use transport every day, most people won’t be aware of the complexities which go into planning and operating services as well as what it takes to manage the various transport networks.”
Gareth left academia in 2014 to join the team at intu Metrocentre as strategic travel co-ordinator where he was tasked with engaging with staff to encourage them to consider the benefits of taking alternative transport options, ultimately to make intu Metrocentre a more greener, sustainable place to work. Over the years his role expanded to incorporate other elements such as liaison for the Western Bypass scheme and Gareth was also responsible for formulating the strategy for electric vehicle charge points.
In April 2016 Gareth became intu’s sustainable travel manager for Midlands and North where he was responsible for seven intu centres throughout the UK including intu Braehead, intu Metrocentre and intu Broadmarsh, as well as providing strategic support for intu Trafford Centre in Manchester.
“Transport is a rapidly changing sector – with Electric Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles, ‘Mobility as a Service’ – where you buy travel credits which can be used on multiple modes of transport, plus an increasing awareness of the health benefits of walking and cycling, all influencing how people choose to travel,” Gareth explains.
“In my new role I’m looking forward to working with all fourteen centres across the group, aiming to understand the different transport challenges they’re facing and sharing best practice between locations to ensure all of our centres continue to thrive.”
Paul Lancaster, central operations director at intu, added:
“intu is a people business guided by our culture and values, and having staff who not only understand but embrace this is vital to our continued success.
“Since joining us in 2014 Gareth has proven himself to be an invaluable member of the team at intu, taking on a host of exciting projects and helping to ensure that our centres reflect intu’s core environmental and sustainability beliefs.
“His wealth of knowledge of the transport field is second to none and we’re sure that his new role will give him the opportunity to apply his skills across the group.”