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WATCH: Harrogate's campaign to save cash and cut congestion

WATCH: Harrogate's campaign to save cash and cut congestion

Published at 6:03am 4th October 2016. (Updated at 11:00am 4th October 2016)

Drivers and passengers across the Harrogate District are being encouraged to share journeys as part of Liftshare Week.

The campaign is raising awareness of the free-to-use HarrogateCarShare.com scheme and how it can save money and energy, as well as cutting congestion.

It's funded by Harrogate Borough Council and has around 1,500 members who are looking for or offering a lift.

Between them, they currently share 11,800 passenger trips and travel more than 150,000 miles each year.

The typical commuter can save up to £1,000 a year if they regularly car-share.

Members of the scheme can register their journeys to and from work or one-off journeys to events such as concerts and sporting events.

The system then searches for others who are going in the same direction, leaving it to them to make contact and arrange to travel together.

Mark Lee and Sarah Whittaker (pictured), who work for Harrogate Borough Council and live in the Boroughbridge and Ripon areas, signed up in 2013.

Sarah said: "The beauty of the scheme is that you don't have to use it regularly - and we don't, due to work patterns and Mark's need to have a car available for his job at all times. But we find it really useful on an ad hoc basis, as it means we can get the benefits of sharing if we go on a work's night out in Harrogate - it's much easier to only take one car."

Mark added: "I've also used the carshare scheme in the past for a more permanent share with fellow colleagues, when they regularly shared my car into work three times a week for about three years. With a 35-mile round trip, this saved me around two gallons of fuel or around £10 per week - that mounted up to around £500 a year, which was great."

Councillor Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Sustainable Transport, said: "Our roads can get pretty congested - especially at certain times, such as trips to and from work or going out on a Friday or Saturday night. It makes good financial - and environmental - sense to free up those spare seats and share.

"The scheme is free, and you are in control of when and where you use it - so there's a degree of flexibility that people may not be aware of.

"This campaign will hopefully bring together a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't know there was somebody out there they could share with."

Here's what Stray FM did to promote the campaign earlier this year:

Registration is free, and for anyone who sends in a request to share between now and Monday 10 October, there's the added incentive of entry into a national £250 prize draw.

More information at www.harrogatecarshare.com