Along with a cycling initiative by the Belgian city of Ghent, liftshare was selected as a winner for the ground-breaking ways in which it encourages people to think differently about how they travel, liftshare and Ghent City Council will now share £30,000 in prize money to further their work to promote sustainable travel.
liftshare was chosen as a winner for its tireless efforts to fill empty car seats on the roads, via its online car-sharing network, which offers a friendlier, greener and cheaper way to travel. liftshare stood out to the judges because of the breadth of its initiatives to promote car-sharing, which – along with creative marketing and innovative product development - has attracted over 500,000 individuals to join the network. Today 1 in every 100 cars in the UK is registered on the network, removing around 100,000 journeys from our roads each day, and cutting 113,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions this year alone.
"To have been chosen as winners out of more than 120 sustainable transport initiatives underlines the vital role that we know car-sharing plays in reducing congestion and pollution," said Ali Clabburn, who founded liftshare in 1998. "Persuading UK drivers to recognise the benefits of changing their travel behaviour has at times been very challenging for us, as pioneers in this field. But seeing the difference it makes to the environment and to so many people's lives, and receiving this award in recognition of that, makes all our hard work worthwhile."
Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar Chief Executive, said: "Cars are responsible for a large percentage of the carbon emissions generated from transport each year, yet there are many millions of empty car seats on the road every day, which can help reduce this impact on the environment. liftshare's innovative approach to tackling this issue and to help transform the way people think about car-sharing stood out to the judges. By celebrating their achievements, we hope to inspire more people to consider the environment when making their own travel choices."
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of Ashden, added: "liftshare's achievements are very impressive: with 1 in every 100 cars in the UK registered on the liftshare network, a huge number of car miles are being saved, resulting in phenomenal carbon savings."
The 2012 Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel culminated on 30 May at the annual Ashden Awards ceremony in London, where the achievements of all the finalists were celebrated and where the ultimate winners were announced. Eurostar, in partnership with Ashden, launched the Award in 2011 to celebrate and support local sustainable travel projects across the UK, France and Belgium.