Monday, July 05, 2004


Talking of changing the way we treat the environment, there's quite a lot of discussion going on about these proposals to introduce special lanes on some parts of motorways for the exclusive use of cars with more than one person in them. This is an effort to get people to travel to and from work together and, if it can be made to work, could tremendously improve conditions on our most congested roads during rush hour. If congestion is reduced, then the amount of harmful gases released into the atmosphere by car exhausts would also reduce, which would be a fantastic outcome.

Now, I'm not going to write anything about the potential benefits/problems with this scheme beyond what I've said above. Instead, I'm going to start from the statement 'Car-sharing is a good thing and could help to reduce congestion (and, by extension, emissions)' and ask you how we can encourage people to do it more.

Could you give some sort of tax break to people who share journeys to work? Would a car-sharing scheme that could put people who live and work in the same area in contact help? If so, would you do it locally or nationally? Could companies be persuaded to set up schemes somehow?

Discussion of these and any other ideas is welcomed.

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