New signs urging car drivers to share their spare seats will be appearing around Harrogate over the next few days.
Harrogate carshare.com, funded by Harrogate Borough Council, has been running for several years and now has around 1,500 members who have registered their journeys and are looking for or offering a lift. Between them, they currently share 11,800 passenger trips a year, traveling more than 150,000 miles.
See www.harrogatecarshare.com to register.
As part of the latest membership drive, the council has teamed up with North Yorkshire County Council to produce new road signs on the busiest routes into Harrogate to remind drivers about the scheme.
Drivers can access the free-to-use, online system to register their journeys to and from work or one-off journeys to events. The software then searches for others who are going in the same direction, leaving it to them to make contact and arrange to travel together. All contact is through the website and individuals do not need to make public their home address, email or phone number.
Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Transport, Councillor Rebecca Burnett joined Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive Member for Highways, and harrrogatecarshare.com members to unveil the new signs.
Councillor Rebecca Burnett said:
This is all about reducing the number of journeys on the road.
We all know how congested our roads can get, but many drivers take almost identical journeys but drive solo.
It makes a lot of sense to link up drivers and passengers, to free up all that spare capacity by sharing lifts and reduce the number of vehicles on our roads. Harrogate Car Share is great for bringing people together who otherwise wouldn’t know they could share.
I hope our new road signs will prompt people to log on to the site, because the more journeys that are listed, the more chance there is of finding a match.
The website is very easy to use and there could also be an additional benefit of better air quality with few journeys.
Councillor Don MacKenzie said:
This is an excellent scheme which our two councils deliver in partnership. Sharing a vehicle to travel to and from work is an easy and practical way to help reduce congestion at peak times, and saves money for the participants; so please join the scheme.
Harrogate Borough Council, are a large employer in the area and are setting the example.
HBC employees, Lenny Wright and Andy Rhodes registered on harrogatecarshare.com and discovered that they had a similar route to work after they listed their journeys. They now regularly share a round trip of around 25 miles, splitting the cost and cutting congestion and pollution for other road users.
I listed my journey start and end points and the time I usually set off and the site did the rest, bringing up a journey match with Andy. We now share our trip when we can, which is great for cutting costs.
The way the system works means that, once we found the journey match, we could agree between ourselves the convenient days to share. And, apart from anything else, we now have a much more sociable commute to work.
Ross Mitchell, Deputy Director of Facilities at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said:
We’re fully supportive of this renewed effort to promote www.harrogatecarshare.com and are encouraging our staff to sign up and see if they can save money on journeys, and help the environment too. The Trust has a Sustainability Group, and this scheme fits in perfectly with what it is aiming to achieve.