Select Committee on Environmental Audit Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Liftshare Ltd

1.  BACKGROUND

  1.1  www.liftshare.com is the UK's leading car share provider, with over 100,000 members and providing car-sharing software to more than 400 Local Authorities, Hospitals, Businesses and Universities around the UK. It is liftshare's mission to "enable and encourage more efficient use of the car".

2.  HOW CAR SHARING CAN HELP ACHIEVE THE 20% REDUCTION

  2.1  It is wholly reasonable for DfT to achieve the 20% reduction target by 2010 as long as a concerted effort is made to encourage more efficient car use. liftshare recommends that more should be done to encourage, facilitate and reward car-sharing along with other forms of more sustainable transport.

    —    With more efficient use of vehicles, car sharing alone could achieve the 20% reduction necessary by 2010.

    —    At present average car occupancy stands at 1.6, for commuter journeys this figures is 1.2.

    —    If car occupancy can be increased by 25% to 2.0 then CO2 emissions will be cut by 20%.

    —    In a typical work travel survey results indicated that 60% of car drivers would be willing to share a car to work if there was someone suitable to travel with.

  2.2  There are currently over 101,000 people formally car-sharing on the UK's national car share network www.liftshare.com and between them we estimate they are saving over 4,700 tonnes of CO2 each year. Our current match rate is 32% and both membership and match rate is increasing month on month.

  2.3  There is clearly demand for formal car-sharing facilities; the major issue preventing more people from signing up is a lack of awareness of organised car-sharing as a travel alternative.

    "The investment required to make this happen is very little. Car-sharing along with car-clubs and other alternatives to single-occupancy car-use, doesn't require any roads to be built or equipment to be developed. All it needs it some promotion so that everyone in the UK understands the personal, social and environmental benefits of responsible travel."

    (Car passengers on the UKs roads: An analysis, Imogen Martineau, 14 June 2005).

3.  RECOMMENDATIONS FROM LIFTSHARE

  3.1  liftshare makes the following recommendations for encouraging car-sharing:

    —    A government campaign should be launched to raise awareness of car-sharing and car-clubs as an organised means of transport.

    —    Bus lanes should be made available to car-sharers.

    —    HOV lanes should be developed on busier routes.

    —    Park and Ride sites could also accommodate Park and Share parking spaces for those who want to car-share into town centres.

    —    Planning agreements for all new business developments should include a travel plan with car-sharing as part of it.

    —    All businesses with more than 50 car parking spaces should be encouraged to set up a car share scheme.

    —    Car-sharing should be promoted within schools by changing the capital restrictions on the Travel Plan Grant to allow funding to be allocated to information materials and travel websites such as www.school-run.org.

February 2006





 
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