PEOPLE using a car sharing scheme in Oxfordshire have made savings totalling an estimated £7.5m since it was launched two years ago, it has been claimed.
There are now 7,231 members of Oxfordshire Liftshare, who save money on fuel bills and cut congestion and carbon dioxide emissions.
Liftshare, which runs the scheme on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council, says members have shared thousands of journeys since the scheme began, saving a total of more than 26.5 million car miles.
Among those signed up with the scheme are Tom Reed and Margaret Murphy from Didcot, who work in the credit control department at Centrica British Gas at Oxford Business Park.
Mr Reed, 22, and mum-of-three Mrs Murphy, who is in her 40s, started car sharing in August last year when they realised they both work at British Gas on the Oxford Business Park in Cowley and lived near each other in Didcot.
Mr Reed, of Tamar Way, Didcot, said: “It costs me about £30 a week on fuel to get to work, which adds up to about £1,560 a year.
“I drive my Ford Focus one week and Margaret uses her Nissan Primera the next, which cuts fuel costs by half and also reduces wear and tear costs on the vehicles. The price of fuel is ridiculous, so it makes sense to join a scheme like this if you can.
“Parking space can be limited and our company is backing the scheme by setting aside about 20 spaces for people sharing.”
Mrs Murphy added: “My car is a bit of a gas guzzler — it can cost me about £40 a week on fuel to get to and from work, so this is a really good idea and helps with the family finances.”
Drivers can join the free scheme online at http://www.oxfordshireliftshare.com to link up with others making the same journey.
The council’s cabinet member for transport, Rodney Rose, said: “Clearly the scheme is making great savings for members.
“But it is not just about pounds and pence — it’s about reducing the number of cars on Oxfordshire’s roads and helping the environment as well.”
Liftshare spokesman Cecilia Bromley-Martin said: “Oxfordshire Liftshare now has a good number of people who have joined.”
There are other car sharing schemes in Oxford including Headington-based Commonwheels, and car clubs covering East Oxford and the north and west of the city.