It's been great to see the Government recognise the financial and environmental importance of car-sharing in its Local Sustainable Transport white paper, which it launched today.
An "unprecedented" £560 million fund was announced to help local councils create growth in the economy and tackle climate change by "going green" on transport. But whilst historically such funds have tended to focus on public transport, walking and cycling, this time the Government also highlighted the significant advantages of sharing a private car as well.
Car-sharing "can help to alleviate the problems of congestion and carbon emissions" said the document, entitled Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon, before making a case study of a very successful regional Liftshare scheme. The document went on to add that "eliminating the use of passenger cars altogether would be the wrong approach given that for many people, particularly in rural areas and for medium-distance or multi-leg trips, the car is the only practical choice and will remain so."
Ali Clabburn, founder of Liftshare, was very encouraged by the White Paper. "All too often the car is demonised, yet it is only the single-occupancy car which is such an environmentally and financially damaging transport option," he said. "A full car is often the greenest form of motorised transport, and it is reassuring to see the Government recognising this and advocating wider take-up of car-sharing."
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