Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Car Sharing

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A YOUNG entrepreneur is on the road to success after his car sharing business clocked up 5,000 users.
Drummond Gilbert came up with the idea for GoCarShare.com after seeing queues of cars each carrying just one person.

The 29-year-old, from East Hendred, near Wantage, launched his firm 18 months ago to reduce the number of car journeys on Britain’s road.

Now GoCarShare has linked up with Steventon’s Truck Festival, and its spin-off event, Wood, along with Glastonbury and the Hay Festival of Literature to get visitors sharing their vehicles.

Mr Drummond, a former accountant, said: “Things have really taken off and we have seen a big rise in the number of people who have signed up to the service. It was something I had wanted to do for a while and it’s great to see it becoming a reality.”

Last year the firm was shortlisted for a European best environmental start–up award.

Mr Drummond said the website, which is linked to social networking site Facebook, means people can get to know their co-travellers before setting off.

He said: “If I’m being honest, I would be very reluctant to get into a car with somebody I knew nothing about. That’s why we have incorp-orated Facebook.

“It means that, at the very least, people can see if they have anything in common with the people, or share the same friends, or maybe listen to the same music.

“That is what sets it apart from hitch-hiking.”

With more than 38 million empty car seats on Britain’s roads every day, car sharing can reduce the impact of vehicles on the environment.

And Mr Drummond said a lot of people are signing up because of the soaring cost of petrol.

He said: “Fuel costs went up 16 per cent last year and driving is becoming increasingly expensive.

“Obviously sharing a car makes commuting and travelling to one-off events a lot cheaper in the long run, which is appealing to a lot of people using the service.”

He added that it was “extremely exciting” to be partnering some of Britain’s biggest cultural festivals.

The former Radley School pupil, who runs the website from home, said: “It is a big move forward for us.

“It makes sense really – if you are driving to Glastonbury, then it is very likely that others from where you live will be doing the same. Why not travel down together?”

Truck Festival organiser Drew Brammer said using the service would help reduce the event’s overall carbon footprint.

He said: “I think using GoCarShare is a brilliant idea because it will bring down our environmental impact. Not only that, our festival-goers will get to meet other people on the way up and make new friends.

“I’ve done it before and always found it works fantastically well.”

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[Via - HeraldSeries]

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