Drivers and passengers across the Harrogate district are being encouraged to share their journeys, saving on cash and carbon, for Liftshare Week 2016 (Monday 3-Sunday 9 October).
The aim of the campaign is to promote awareness of the free-to-use HarrogateCarShare.com scheme and the benefits of car sharing – such as saving money, energy and reducing congestion there’s an added incentive of entry into a free £250 prize draw for new and existing members when they send a request to share their journey.
Local drivers and passengers can sign up to harrogatecarshare.com, which is funded by Harrogate Borough Council. The scheme 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.
There are many benefits to car sharing – the typical commuter can save up to £1000 a year if they regularly car share to work, and car sharing helps reduce CO2 emissions at the same time.
Harrogatecarshare.com is a free-to-use, online system where car drivers and passengers can register their journeys to and from work or one-off journeys to events such as concerts and sport 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.
Mark Lee and Sarah Whittaker work for Harrogate Borough Council and live in the Boroughbridge and Ripon areas of the district. They signed up to harrogatecarshare.com in 2013.
The beauty of the scheme is that you don’t have to use it regularly – and we don’t, due to work patterns and Mark’s need to have a car available for his job at all times. But we find it really useful on an ad hoc basis, as it means we can get the benefits of sharing if we go on a work’s night out in Harrogate – it’s much easier to only take one car.
I’ve also used the carshare scheme in the past for a more permanent share with fellow colleagues, when they regularly shared my car into work 3 times a week for about three years. With a 35 miles round trip this saved me around 2 gallons of fuel or around £10 per week – that mounted up to around £500 a year, which was great.
Councillor Rebecca Burnett is Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for Sustainable Transport. She said:
Our roads can get pretty congested – especially at certain times, such as trips to and from work or going out on a Friday or Saturday night. It makes good financial – and environmental – sense to free up those spare seats and share.
The scheme is free, and you are in control of when and where you use it – so there’s a degree of flexibility that people may not be aware of.
This campaign will hopefully bring together a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t know there was somebody out there they could share with.
Registration is free, and simple – and between now and Monday 10 October for anyone who sends in a request to share there’s that added incentive of entry into the national £250 prize draw.
Further details and instructions of how to request a car share journey are at www.harrogatecarshare.com