Car Sharing: Why getting a lift is better

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The obvious benefits of introducing car sharing, such as cutting CO2 emissions and reducing the number of cars that are currently crowding your onsite car park are hard to ignore, however as well as being beneficial to the environment and your employee’s pockets it can also bring your team closer, creating a stronger happier network.

Why promote car sharing?

Car sharing is all about filling empty seats in cars and reducing congestion, as well as improve air quality, with clear benefits for people’s pockets and the environment.

Relatively simple to set-up and manage, a car sharing scheme has several benefits for your business including:

  • Reducing demand for onsite parking spaces and associated maintenance costs.
  • Contributing toward environmental/sustainability targets.
  • Alleviating local and onsite congestion.
  • Creating stronger networks between employees who share a  journey.

“For me, car-sharing is ideal. It allows my family to remain as a one-car household, and I get picked up and dropped off almost every day by my car-sharer"

Employee, Babcock/Cavendish Nuclear

Setting up a car share scheme

A car sharing scheme can benefit businesses of all sizes and either be developed in-house or through the use of an off the shelf platform.  A choice of these is available from Travelwest.

From the recent experience of those companies who have introduced a car sharing scheme, the following stages of best practice have been identified.

1.     Establish the need for a car share scheme:

  • Carry out a staff survey to see whether there is potential for staff to start car sharing and prevailing attitudes toward car sharing.
  • Develop a business case outlining projected benefits and costs.  Talking to other businesses that already have a scheme running is an excellent way to approach this.
  • Set targets to work toward.

2.     Implement and promote the scheme:

  • Set-up an in-house car sharing system or purchase an existing platform.
  • Think about electing a car-share champion and incentives to help promote the scheme, i.e. priority 2+ spaces or a guaranteed ride home in an emergency for those with dependents.
  • Promote the benefits of car sharing to staff using all the communication channels at your disposal!

3.     Monitor the scheme:

Monitor and review the success of the scheme against your targets and determine ways in which you can boost uptake.

Setting up a car sharing scheme can also be as simple as you like, with participants managing their own arrangements and immediate gains for both employees and employers.

Car sharing at Babcock/Cavendish Nuclear

Back in 2012 Cavendish Nuclear moved offices, consolidating its 400 members of staff from several locations into a single building in Aztec West. Parking at the time was limited and a survey revealed that 85% of its staff were using cars, more than of whom were unsatisfied with the daily commute to work. From this it was obvious that travel was an issue that Cavendish Nuclear had to address.

“The savings in fuel costs, wear and tear on the car and the companionship on the journey have more than outweighed the need for flexibility when sharing with others"

Employee, Babcock/Cavendish Nuclear

With the introduction of several greener travel and management measures, the 2015 Travel to Work Survey (registration closed) showed that the number of people traveling by car had now dropped to 67% with 40% of all staff now car sharing and a higher overall level of satisfaction. Additional measures Cavendish Nuclear introduced include:

  • Support for finding car shares.
  • Close management of the car park, with individuals requiring to inform admin if they do not require their space on any given day.
  • Offering a guaranteed lift home in case of emergency.

In addition, facilities for cyclists have been improved such as showers, storage, and a new cycle shelter that was installed with the support of a match funded grant from South Gloucestershire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.