National Liftshare Week aims to promote car sharing to fill up some of the 38 million empty car seats being driven around the UK each rush hour.
Since 2008 over 2,000 Swindon car drivers have signed up to the Swindon car share web site which matches up drivers going the same way at the same time.
Four commuters from North Swindon, Ian Fleming, Martin Oakes, Bob Dixon and Sandy Nicholson, pictured, now travel together to Newbury each day.
Martin said: “I started sharing when my car broke a year ago and I actively sought people who were heading my way. The car is fixed now so I can play my part in rotating the driving.”
Bob has been car sharing for the past twelve years and even a move from Royal Wootton Bassett to Abbey Meads was no trouble. “I found there was a ready supply of car share partners driving from North Swindon to Newbury. Our employer has a shortage of car parking, and promotes car sharing to overcome the pressures, so it was easy to join the other three.”
So, could car sharing be for you? There are a few downsides, for example an employer needs to recognise staff can’t stay late or may have to leave meetings promptly. Car sharers also have to be flexible to fit in with the others.
But they list a number of benefits including:
• the social aspect. You chat about everything and anything, from cars to TV programmes, and you can get rid of any stress from that day at work before you arrive home;
• the financial benefit. The trip to Newbury saves each driver 65 miles a day. Put it another way, between them about 1,000 miles a week or 46,000 miles a year. Each car sharer saves £12 a day when they don’t drive, a total of £2,000 annually on fuel, not counting wear and tear, depreciation and insurance for lower mileage;
• greater safety. Car sharers report they drive more slowly with passengers on board, whilst the coordination of pick ups is offset by the fact there are three back up vehicles if the car owned by driver of the day breaks down.
• sharing also improves work-life balance as they become accustomed to leaving the office at an agreed time.
Find out more at www.carshareswindon.com