Car-sharing drive cuts the cost of commuting

More than 1,000 employees in Surrey have signed up to an innovative car-sharing scheme being run by the council.

Staff in the Surrey offices of firms such as Legal & General, Procter & Gamble, Sony and Alliance Cornhill as well as local hospitals and council offices are taking part in the scheme, which began in November in response to congestion problems.

Pippa James, car share co-ordinator for Surrey County Council, said businesses had benefited since signing up.

“Car-sharing schemes can help companies prove their green credentials and can help cut costs by reducing the number of parking spaces they have to provide,” she told Personnel Today.

James – thought to be the only car share co-ordinator in the UK – is tasked with enrolling local companies. Her job also involves helping firms market the initiative internally and helping to set up the processes required.

Participants add their details to a database and are put in contact with workers who have similar travel requirements via e-mail – like an online dating service.

As yet, only colleagues from the same company have shared lifts, but it is hoped that employees from different firms will travel to work in the same vehicle.

Participating companies pay towards the scheme with fees applying on a sliding scale. Organisations with 1,000 employees or more pay £950 a year.

Rachel Dale, services manager at Procter & Gamble’s Brooklands site, said that having the support of someone in a central role has helped get the scheme off the ground at the company.

Procter & Gamble got involved because it fitted the company’s aim of being environmentally responsible and gave employees an opportunity to cut the cost of their journey into work, she said.

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