Car Free or Car Share?

Every year on or around 22 September, people from around the world get together in their businesses, streets and neighbourhoods to remind the world that, believe it or not, there are alternatives to the car!

As the climate heats up, and with over one billion vehicles on the road around the globe, World Car Free Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and put the pressure on city and town planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport.

Our very own Milton Park in Abingdon, is leading from the front, and joining up with Car Free Day this year. All the companies at Milton Park are being encouraged to take part and use it as an opportunity to be creative with their journeys. Have you got any plans?

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is currently considering introducing regular car-free days to London in a bid to reduce emissions from vehicles and encourage greater levels of cycling and walking. Will Oxford be next?

I am definitely sensing a national mood for better climate and community friendly modes of transport, and I suspect that now is a good time to get ahead of the curve and lead this movement from the front – rather than wait for likely forced council run change or Government-led legislation. There is a chance here to position your business as forward thinking and progressive.

Not surprisingly, many big employers and businesses are already head of the curve; and whilst not exactly advocating car-free, they are investing time and money in encouraging their employees to car-share – Tesco, BBC, Ocado and Jaguar Land Rover are all doing it, among others. Assuming altruism isn’t the only motivation here (!), there must be some pretty compelling business benefits right?

Reduced demand for parking
We know that parking is a big problem for many businesses and that the demand for a parking space can cause great issues. Car sharing can be a solution to this headache.

Recruitment and retention
Businesses need to maintain a competitive advantage over other employers to attract the best talent. Ocado are doing just that. By introducing car-sharing at its Warwick site, they are able to widen the search for new staff – without employees being impacted by additional transport costs. Ocado also hopes the financial cost savings for staff will retain employees longer.

Financial savings
Many businesses rent additional parking spaces from land owners to keep up with demand for parking. This of course comes at a cost.
The average car-sharer also saves £1,000 a year through journey sharing. So car-sharing can act as pseudo pay-rise to staff which an employer may otherwise not be in a position to offer.

Health and wellbeing
We all know the frustrations of travelling through rush hour traffic. Several studies show that congestion not only makes people late for work but also has negative consequences on health.
Could sharing journeys reduced the stress of the daily commute?

Employee engagement
Car-sharing is a great way for employees to interact with colleagues from different areas of the business. With studies showing that engaged staff perform higher and take less time off sick, car-sharing is a simple way staff can connect with one another. Need I even mention here, the blossoming friendship of John and Kayleigh, of Peter Kay’s Car Share fame?!!

Reduced congestion
Traffic congestion impacts everything from how long it takes us to get to work, the amount of fuel we use in our vehicles, and the price of consumer goods.
Could car sharing improve your staff’s time-keeping?

Sustainability
Car-sharing is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint for workplace commuting, as well as embed green thinking amongst the workforce.

Employee benefits
The benefits of car sharing for your staff are myriad, and include:
• reduced fuel costs and parking fees
• increased personal security – company when staff are walking to and from the car park
• better air quality and lower carbon emissions due to reduced traffic fumes
• less congestion and shorter journeys due to fewer cars being on the road
• an increased chance of finding a parking space, because fewer cars means less competition for spaces
• journeys being more pleasant due to having company

With World Car free day just round the corner, why not chat with me today about how your business can lead from the front with innovative transport, employee engagement, and environmental policies.

Drop me a line at emma@emmacbrowning.com or call  01280 848415.