Car sharing colleagues reduce number of empty seats on the roads

With research from the Department for Travel Statistics revealing that 85% of all cars commuting to and from work have only one person in them, staff at a North East workplace are using car sharing to make the daily commute more enjoyable, reduce costs and help the environment.

Staff at Intu Metrocentre in Gateshead have been reaping the benefits of travelling to and from work together, organising car shares with groups of colleagues.

Carolyn Liddle works at Goldsmith’s Boutique, Intu Metrocentre, and regularly shares her car journey from Washington with up to three other colleagues.

Carolyn said: “Depending on everyone’s shifts, there are two or three others who I regularly bring in to work with me. It saves on petrol, is more sociable and they buy me a coffee!”

Lynda Crowther, Store Manager at Karen Millen at Intu Metrocentre, said: “I car share with a colleague, Maria, who works at Karen Millen in House of Fraser and we take turns driving. I prefer to travel together, especially in bad weather like we’re having at the moment.”

Figures show that people in the UK make an average of 145 commuting journeys every year, travelling an average of 1,279 miles in 2013.

Share Smarter is a car sharing scheme in Tyne and Wear, run in partnership with Go Smarter. Share Smarter makes  it easy for people to find others to car share with by registering for free at www.sharesmarter.co.uk. The site includes a savings calculator, helping people work out how much money they could save on petrol and parking and also how much they will save in C02 emissions by sharing journeys with others.

There is also lots of free information for businesses on the Share Smarter website to help employers promote car sharing within their organisation.

Nick Clennett, Senior Responsible Officer for Go Smarter, said: “As well as being more sociable and cost effective, car sharing can be really useful for those who work in areas with limited public transport, or when people work shifts and would like to benefit from the added security of travelling together. It benefits employers too, meaning reduced demand for parking spaces”.

Go Smarter, Tyne and Wear’s sustainable travel programme, has been spreading the word about car sharing through a series of roadshows at key workplaces across Tyne and Wear. Go Smarter encourages people to make greener, healthier and more sustainable travel choices including public transport, car sharing, walking and cycling.