A ‘green’ scheme launched just seven months ago at a Torfaen business park where occupiers share lifts to and from work is having tonnes of success.
The Liftshare scheme which sees office workers join work colleagues or people they have never previously met on trips to and from work in their own cars is proving to be a runaway success.
Introduced to Mamhilad Park Estate, Pontypool, Torfaen, in July last year the scheme has already lead to savings of £10,743, reduced 83,722 miles of ’dual’ travel and shrunk CO2 ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions by 16 tonnes.
Mamhilad Park Estate is where 150 businesses now have their base employing a total of some 1,600 people.
Project leader Sam Williams, Marketing Executive at Johnsey Estates-owned Mamhilad Park Estate, says the green initiative is proving a great success.
Sam said: “It’s both simple and effective. Occupiers can join the community, post their journey they would like to share, as a driver or a passenger, or both, they are then shown a few matches with people doing a similar journey.
“They are encouraged to talk to each other via the built-in messenger to discuss further and see if Liftsharing can work for them. Liftshare also gives the suggested contribution fee, and drivers cannot ask for more so there are no difficult conversations about money.
“Alternatively, driver and passenger can take it in turns or maybe buy them their lunch or a coffee
The thriving business park, home to over 150 organisations started the Liftshare scheme as part of its efforts to become an environmentally conscious and sustainable business, and to reduce congestion on-site, freeing up parking spaces.
“We conducted an initial survey and found out that many of the people who commute to Mamhilad Park Estate are from the NP4 and NP44 postcode areas, indicating there was a high potential for car sharing.
“We have a duty to our occupiers to make Mamhilad Park Estate as accessible as possible. It must be noted that even if somebody doesn’t live close to you, they may be passing through your route.
“We now have 187 people signed up to the Mamhilad Park Estate Liftshare community. We have 24 Liftshare teams and this number continues to rise. Fewer vehicles now travel to the business park each day and we’re expecting to see greater reductions over the coming months.
“We offer benefits and incentives for people to support the scheme. Aside from the obvious benefits such as saving money and reducing emissions, those who car share enjoy priority parking adjacent to the building they work in.
“We also offer a Guaranteed Ride Home. If, for example, the driver of the team has to go home for an emergency, the person they travelled in with can have a taxi ride home, free of charge.
“This initiative is pioneering for the area, and I am proud of this. Hopefully, it can encourage others to consider operating a similar scheme and help protect our environment.
“Changing people’s behaviour and habits is notoriously difficult. Many people think that once signed up, they have to Liftshare every day, however this is not the case. The scheme is highly flexible, you can only Liftshare once a week if you like, or maybe your car is in the garage and you need to find a way to work one time.
“The popularity of Liftshare is growing month by month, as others see people sharing and reaping the benefits, they are more likely to try it themselves. Ideally, we would like to encourage more inter-organisational sharing.
Sue and Wendy use the Mamhilad Park Estate Liftshare scheme. Over a 12 month period they will save £416, reduce their mileage by 3119 miles and prevent 612.88kg of CO2 entering the atmosphere.
Wendy said :”Registering for Liftshare was very straightforward and easy and using the App is easy and takes no time at all. We’re saving money and helping the environment, and it is also nice to have company on the way to and from work. It is also great to use a priority parking space right outside our office!”
Cheryl, Sarah and Sana use the Mamhilad Park Estate Liftshare scheme. Over a 12 month period they will save £2,704, reduce their mileage by 20,862 miles and prevent 4.10 tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere. They also won a £25 Amazon voucher each for sharing with someone from a different organisation, who they had not previously known.
Sana said “I use Liftshare because I do not drive. I used to travel from Cardiff to Mamhilad via public transport which takes a long time. It is very simple to Liftshare and it’s great to meet new people who you may not come across within the same building.
“The ladies I share with are lovely and we have some great conversations on the way to work and home. I would definitely recommend Liftshare to others. It is so easy to set up and use. No awkward conversations about money as it is all displayed on the site, so you know what you are agreeing to.”