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University car-share scheme to help cut traffic – University of Reading

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University car-share scheme to help cut traffic

Release Date 04 December 2006

The University of Reading is to launch a car sharing scheme in a bid to cut traffic and congestion on Reading's roads. As one of the area's largest employers, with around 3,500 staff, as well as some 15,000 students, coming into the three town campuses every day the University recognised its contribution to the town's increasingly clogged roads. Now it has joined forces with Liftshare.com to provide a car sharing scheme for both staff and students. Ian Cruickshank, campus services manager at the University, is the brains behind the idea. He said: "The University is a responsible employer and a good neighbour, and as such wants to do it's best for both staff, students and our neighbours here in Reading. "Every day thousands of people within the area travel to and from the University, many of them by car. This creates congestion, pollution and parking problems on our campuses. "It's up to us to lead the way, as a large local employer, in providing innovative methods to ease people's commute to work, and to make life slightly better on the roads for local residents. Just a glance at the car parks every morning will show how many staff and students travel by car. "Car-sharing is just one way of addressing these problems in a cost efficient and easy way." The scheme should be up and running early in the New Year. Louise Boom, from Liftshare.com, said: "Congestion and pollution are such important issues and it's great that the University is so committed to helping its local area. "Car sharing is already having a significant impact both locally and across the UK and initiatives like this will help to ensure that awareness of car sharing continues to grow. It is now growing faster than ever before as motorists are increasingly keen to help the environment and reduce their fuel costs." Liftshare.com is one of the largest car-sharing schemes in the country with more than 140,000 users. It manages more than 8,400 schemes, including one at Sussex University, and seven in the Reading area. It's estimated that its members shared more than 4,000,000 miles last year, giving an approximate saving of 10,000 tonnes of Co2. Access to the scheme is completely web based, with a dedicated web site which is accessed via a link on the University's web site. Staff and students will be able to register themselves as either a passenger requiring a lift or as a driver offering a lift. The system then searches for people along a route matching people who pass close to one another on their journey. Contact between travellers is via e-mail, so no individual information is disclosed. The scheme will also match people who wish to travel by taxi, cycle or walk the same route. Ends Note for media: Ian Cruickshank is available for interviews today, either through Lucy Ferguson, or direct on 0118 378 6927 Lucy Ferguson, senior press officer 0118 378 7388 L.Ferguson@reading.ac.uk

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