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Drivers can log on to car share

PUBLISHED: 05:02 19 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

By Rebecca Sheppard

DRIVERS travelling to work in Essex can swap singing solo to the radio for conversation if they register on a new web site.

Once people enter their details on to the Travel-Share Essex web site it will automatically provide details of others making similar journeys so they can share a car.

By Rebecca Sheppard

DRIVERS travelling to work in Essex can swap singing solo to the radio for conversation if they register on a new web site.

Once people enter their details on to the Travel-Share Essex web site it will automatically provide details of others making similar journeys so they can share a car.

Partly funded by the Countryside Agency and run by Essex County Council with the Chelmsford Environment Partnership, the on-line database now operates for travellers across Essex following its success in Chelmsford.

The decision to run it countywide comes as latest figures from the council show a 3% rise in Essex traffic over the last year.

The environmentally friendly scheme aims to cut the traffic and pollution in congested towns.

Councillor Ron Williams, cabinet member with responsibility for transportation, said: "We are trying to reduce the number of cars on the road at peak times.

"Lots of people complain to me about congestion so this is a way to engage people and encourage them to use other means of transport."

It is also a way of cutting costs and boredom on the monotonous drive to work," he said.

"When people travel together they can enjoy conversation and any car parking or petrol costs can be split," Mr Williams commented.

However, he acknowledged the service fills gaps in public transport.

"We cannot provide as many buses as we would like, due to money reasons, so car-sharing is a way of reducing pollution and congestion without the need for more funding from the government.

"It puts off the day when more draconian measures have to be taken, like the congestion charge in London," he added.

Colchester Borough Council has welcomed the project and is looking forward to seeing more people sharing cars on its busy roads.

Councillor Christopher Arnold, portfolio holder responsible for transport, said: "I look forward to promoting the scheme and I am sure it will have a big impact on Colchester.

"Obviously if there are fewer cars there will be more road space, which will make public transport run on time."

David Simmonds, from the Council for the Protection of Rural Essex, agreed the scheme would benefit the countryside.

He said: "Obviously any reduction in the number of cars on the road will be a good thing. This will cause less pollution and decrease the need for more and bigger roads."

The web site can be found at www.travelshare-essex.com.


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