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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January, 2005, 22:27 GMT
Rugby stars back car sharing move
Newsflash Scotland
Chris Cusiter, Bruce Douglas and Scott Gray are all in favour of car sharing
Scotland's rugby stars have given car sharing their full backing by kick-starting a campaign to encourage more people to travel together.

Scrum half Chris Cusiter and flanker Scott Gray believe sharing rides is the best way forward.

The team try whenever possible to travel in car loads to both training sessions and matches.

A report, entitled Share If You Care, showed that four out of five 18 to 24 year-olds would go for car sharing.

The reasons cited by many in the survey included saving the environment (88%), saving money (86%) and reducing traffic levels (83%).

The research consisted of a poll of 1,105 adults throughout Scotland aged 18 and over.

Cusiter said he was all in favour of pollutant-free ways of travelling.

'Saves money'

He said: "Even when we're training at Stirling University, the campus is pretty spread out between where we stay and where we train so car sharing really makes sense.

"It's not just good for the environment and saves money, it also means we can all share a bit of banter on the journey."

Overall, two thirds of people in Scotland said they would use a car sharing scheme for commuting to work, going shopping or doing the school run.

Heaviest support came from frustrated drivers in the central belt and Tayside.

Choose Another Way
The Choose Another Way campaign is urging more car sharing
Transport expert Dr Tom Rye, from Napier University, said: "If two people who normally drive alone share a car even one day a week, that's a 10% cut in rush hour traffic.

"Many UK companies have shown that car sharing is a cheap and effective way to ease parking problems, cut stress and save their staff money on the way to work."

A Choose Another Way spokesperson said that car sharing was increasingly being seen as a viable way of getting from a to b.

He added: "Whilst it's long been considered the norm in the USA, it's taken a while to get off the ground in the UK, despite the fact that traffic jams cost the economy 5bn every year in lost productivity.

"However, today's younger generation is quick to see the many benefits of doubling up and seemingly less worried about people invading their space.

Meeting people

"There are a number of schemes in place across Scotland, but with ideas such as motorway priority lanes for car sharers and local congestion charging being examined, we expect to see more schemes coming into place."

Other reasons for taking up car sharing, according to the research, included:

  • discovering shortcuts (63%)

  • meeting people (60%)

  • getting gossip (49%)

  • listening to someone else's music (38%)

  • grabbing an extra hour's sleep in the morning (37%).

Would-be car sharers revealed themselves as a considerate bunch with half of them saying they would be more aware of their driving, turn the radio down and let their passenger sleep.

The research also identified that car sharing could lead to romance on the roads.

Companies such as Agilent, HBOS, the Miller Group, Scottish Gas and Scottish & Newcastle already have car sharing schemes in place in Scotland.


SEE ALSO:
Car-share lane will debut on M1
09 Dec 04 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Creative ways to beat congestion
26 Nov 04 |  Magazine


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