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Car Sharing

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what information he holds on (a) local authority and (b) business car sharing schemes in (i) England, (ii) the North East and (iii) Gateshead, East and Washington, West; and if he will make a statement; (106931)

(2) what steps are being taken by his Department (a) to encourage the establishment of and (b) to support existing car sharing schemes; and if he will make a statement.

Through the Local Transport Planning system and other initiatives, the Department encourages local authorities to set up authority-wide car share schemes and to promote car sharing as part of site specific workplace travel plans.

The Department also publishes a range of best practice guidance on workplace and school travel planning which covers, car share schemes, and in 2005 published specific guidance on car share schemes “Making Car Sharing and Car Clubs Work”.

Government initiatives such as requiring travel plans for new developments and the School Travel Initiative are increasing the number of workplaces and schools with travel plans.

The Highways Agency are also promoting workplace travel plans for sites near the strategic road network and are developing proposals to pilot the use of dedicated car share lanes on the M62 and M1.

Car share schemes are being set up nationally by commercial operators, by local authorities for their staff or the wider public and by businesses, schools and other organisations as stand-alone initiatives or as part of a travel plan. The Department does not collect or hold information on the number and location of car sharing schemes, therefore, which are being operated across the country.

Gateshead Council's published material on its travel plan includes car sharing and the MetroCentre in Gateshead run a car share scheme for people employed there.