One of the activities in our Community Plan is to promote a car share scheme in the Three Parishes Big Local area. This is one potential solution to the issues that some residents in our area experience when travelling to, or trying to travel to, some of the large employment areas in our locality. We have been working with Shropshire Council's Sustainable Transport Team to develop a tailored version of their car share website, www.shropshare.co.uk.
Launched by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils earlier this year, ‘Shropshare’ is a county-wide car share initiative which is free to join and use for individuals and organisations alike.
You can register to be a member of Shropshare, either as a driver looking to share, or as a passenger looking for transport.
So, what is car sharing?
Car sharing is very much what it sounds like; two or more people arranging to travel together in one car instead of making similar journeys separately. Many of us car share with friends and family regularly, without even realising it. Many cars have empty seats just because the driver isn't aware of anyone else that could share the journey.
How does car sharing work?
Once you have registered on the Shropshare website, the database will check your details and preferences to create a list of potential sharers; people who live near you or on your route, and who match your preferences. You can then contact people from the list and make a car sharing arrangement that works for all. Link to www.shropshare.co.uk
When could I car share?
You may be able to car share more often than you realise! Here are a few examples:
- Getting to and from work
- Travelling to an event
- Doing the weekly shop
- Getting your children to and from school
- One off journeys
What are the benefits of car sharing?
There are many good reasons for car sharing. Here are some of the best:
- Save money on fuel and parking costs every time you share
- way of travelling
Do I have to share every day?
No, you can share as often as suits you. Many people only share on two or three days a week, or work a shift pattern outside of normal office hours. The registration process includes a section that enables you to choose the days and times that you want to share, and the system will look for matches that fit your travel profile.
Will this affect my insurance?
You must be fully insured to join the scheme and it is advisable to inform your insurance company that you are registered in a car share scheme. This should not affect your premium because almost all policies cover the driver to carry passengers.
The Association of British Insurers state that car-sharing should not affect the insurance of their members:
"All ABI motor insurers have agreed that your insurance cover will not be affected if your passengers contribute towards your journey costs (including fuel, vehicle depreciation and associated vehicle running costs), as long as lifts are given in a vehicle seating eight passengers or less. This does not apply if you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers is your business."
Source: ABI 2014.
The majority of insurers are members of the ABI, however if you have any concerns or queries please contact your insurer to check their terms and conditions.
How are costs shared?
Costs can be shared in any way which is acceptable to all involved. Passenger contributions should be arranged before travel and should not exceed the running costs, including wear and depreciation, for the trip.
Can I check if a driver's car is taxed and has passed its MOT?
All you need is the registration number and make of vehicle, you can then check the details at www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk
When car sharing, every member is responsible for his or her own safety. We recommend that Shropshare members follow these simple security measures:
- Arrange to meet your car share partner, in a public place, before making your first journey together
- Let someone know who you will be travelling with, when and where
- Consider showing each other some form of identification (passport, driving licence etc.) so that you can be sure that you are travelling with the right person.
- If you are uneasy or concerned about your car share partner then do not travel together - you are under no obligation to car share.