Commuters urged to drive down costs by car sharing

Car-sharers Patrick Brogan (l) and Barry Haughey (r) get behind www.carshareni.com and are encouraging other commuters to give car sharing a go and discover its financial, social and environmental benefits. INNT 41-553-CON
Car-sharers Patrick Brogan (l) and Barry Haughey (r) get behind www.carshareni.com and are encouraging other commuters to give car sharing a go and discover its financial, social and environmental benefits. INNT 41-553-CON
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Commuters in Newtownabbey are being steered towards a car sharing scheme.

The DRD Travelwise NI initiative – www.carshareni.com - could help them make significant financial savings on their daily journey to and from work.

Rising motoring costs have seen car sharing increase in popularity year on year and there are currently over 4,300 different journeys available for sharing on www.carshareni.com.

Commuters can use the online calculator to find out exactly how much they can save through car sharing.

The Car Share NI scheme, which has been running since 2005 and has almost 4,500 members, matches users with other commuters undertaking similar car journeys so they can travel together sustainably.

The savings to be made through car sharing are substantial.

For example, a commuter travelling from Newtownabbey to Belfast (approx 10 miles) could save over £900 and cut CO2 emissions by 958.2kg annually by sharing the car with three other passengers for the daily journey to and from work.

Organisations actively promoting car sharing include University of Ulster, Belfast Health Trust and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Barry Haughey (32), an electrical engineering student from Fintona, has been delighted with the savings he has made since he signed up to www.carshareni.com.

He said: “I share my journey with three other people who all work in the greater Belfast area and I would estimate that I’m cutting my fuel bill by around 65%. Fuel alone would cost me around £110 to £120 each week if I was travelling alone, but with car sharing it averages out to around £40 a week.

“It’s also great to have company on the journey, which is 70 miles one way and normally takes around an hour-and-a-half.”

Travelwise NI car share manager Michael Lindsay said: “I would urge all motorists to check out the cost calculator on the website at www.carshareni.com to find out how much they could save by sharing their journey.

“The savings are considerable, even for shorter journeys. Add in other benefits such as company for the trip and being able to relax when it’s someone else’s turn to drive, and you can see why more and more people are considering sharing the trip.”