PEOPLE are urged to save cash and help the environment by car sharing.
Hartlepool Borough Council chiefs are keen to reduce the number of cars on the roads to help to cut traffic congestion, improve road safety, protect the local environment and improve people’s health.
The council is keen to promote car sharing as part of National Liftshare Week, a UK-wide initiative that is running this week.
Robert Snowball, Hartlepool Borough Council’s sustainable travel officer, said: “With petrol prices reaching record highs this year, now is the ideal time to give car-sharing a try.
“It can help you to save a lot of money on fuel and make boring solo journeys much more fun. It also helps to reduce stress by allowing you to be chauffeur-driven.
“Car-sharing also has a big impact on the environment as fewer cars on the roads mean a consequent reduction in exhaust emissions. This is also important in terms of people’s health as air pollution often aggravates respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Paul Watson, the council’s road safety officer, and Mick Dunn, parking enforcement co-ordinator, regularly car share on the journey to work from their homes in Sunderland.
They estimate that they benefit from a combined saving in fuel of £1,400 over the course of a year and the total reduction in terms of CO2 emissions from their vehicles is 2.5 tonnes.
Mr Snowball added: “It is important to remember, however, that you don’t need to own a car to sign up to be a car-sharer.
“Many people are often willing to do the driving in return for a contribution to their fuel costs and some friendly company.”