The following information is available about the Bages LTPN area:
The selected site consists of a number of industrial estates situated within the municipalities of Santpedor and Sant Fruitós del Bages. The two municipalities are in the central part of the County of Bages, which is in the core of Catalonia, in the northeast corner of Spain. This site is 10 km north of Manresa, the capital of Bages and 60km from Barcelona.
Figure 1: Location of the Santa Anna industrial area within Catalonia
The LTPN area includes the industrial estates of Riu d'Or, Santa Anna I, Santa Anna II and Santa Anna III in the municipality of Santpedor and of Placa de Santa Anna, La Serreta, Carretera de Berga and Sant Isidre in the municipality Sant Fruitós del Bages, hereinafter referred to as Santa Anna industrial area.
Whilst the towns of Sant Fruitós del Bages and Santpedor respectively are relatively small with 7,400 and 6,600 inhabitants, in 2009, this group of industrial estates had around 300 companies, employing approximately 7,000 people. This includes large employers, amongst the most important of these are Denso (automotive; 715 employees) and Caixa Manresa (banking services; 500 employees), and also small to medium-sized enterprises.
However given that manufacturing was the most important economic activity in the LTPN area, representing 66% of employees, many working for companies supplying the automotive industry, the economic downturn had a huge impact upon employment in the area. Since the start of the project the number of employees working at the site fell by 24%, influencing transport and traffic related issues and focussing employers on their core objectives.
This site is close to the intersection of the C25 and the C16, which one of the most important intersections in Central Catalonia. The C25 highway goes from East to West and the C16 highway goes from North to South, from the French boarder to Barcelona. Each connects a number of Catalan counties as they travel through the region. These connections offer quick and effective access to the LTPN to car or van drivers and passengers.
In the LTPN area there were many bus services in operation. But, in general, these services did not offer a good geographical coverage of the area and most of the bus stops were located far from the companies. Plus services didn't cater for demand as connections with Manresa and Santpedor, where most employees lived are not available. The bus stops located near the LTPN area have shelters and the pedestrian bridge provides good access to parts of the industrial estate. However, bus timetables were not adjusted to the shifts of workers employed at the site.
Furthermore access for pedestrians and cyclists was unsatisfactory. There was a lack of safe, well defined paths linking the residential areas to the industrial sites. Access to the site made it almost impossible for a person without car access to get a job with one of the companies of within the LTPN area.
At the start of the project the dependency on private cars caused certain congestion problems at peak hours, especially at the access points to the industrial estates, but also nearby on main roads and the strategic road network. This was further accentuated by the design of the access routes and the high proportion of heavy vehicles accessing and crossing the area. It also contributed to parking management problems at part of the estate where parking was unregulated. These traffic related problems have been alleviated following the reduction in activity in the LTPN area.
A survey carried out in 2009 demonstrated that 98% of respondents employed within the Santa Anna Industrial estate accessed their workplace by motorised vehicle, 73% as a car driver, 21% as a car passenger and 3% by motorcycle. A further 1% travelled by company bus and 0.5% each on foot and using public transport. The important share of employees that travelled as private vehicle passengers indicates the existence of an important number of informal (self-organised) car-pooling initiatives.