Transport Watch UK Focusing on UK's Traffic & Traffic Systems

Topic 11. Car Share

We saw under the section on Transport Policy that the Government’s intention of increasing bus use by 10% and rail use by 50% would, if successful, reduce car use over 10 years from perhaps 120% of the value in 2000 to 118%. A change so trivial as to pass unnoticed.

In contrast a 20% rise in car occupancy may reduce car traffic by up to 20%.

Of course it would take time to effect changes in insurance policies and to build the social infrastructure to make car-share popular but the prize would be great - Mobility for the all via a formalized “hitch hiking” culture, maximising the use of the vehicle fleet and of the roads. Congestion charging would be a powerful catalyst promoting this option.

Car share may be particularly effective for the work trip where an incentive could be preferential car parking and where membership of a car-share group could be a condition of service. As matters stand the land areas given over to parking rivals, or exceeds, that given over to productive land use particularly on business parks.

Northampton town centre car park

That said, although there are instances in America where firms have successfully implemented car share schemes, attempts in the UK have generally foundered. Failed examples include the AA at its own HQ and Barclay Card where, following the construction of an office for some 1500 people on a business park in Northampton car sharing was attempted but abandoned.

Wp Ref. Website Topic 11


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