How West Sussex County Council are combating congestion

Why car-sharing was considered

The 2011 census reported that approximately 394,700 West Sussex residents are in employment. Of these 58% (c.229,000) usually drive to work with a further 4.7% commuting as car passengers (c.18,550). Therefore at least around 37,000 employed residents currently car-share to work. The main target audience is therefore the 192,000 people that currently drive alone to work.

Originally West Sussex set up their Liftshare scheme to facilitate car-sharing to industrial estates and other employment sites. They now promote the scheme to developers who are preparing either workplace or residential Travel Plans in order to comply with planning requirements. As a large employer themselves, the county council also wanted a system that would enable them to promote car-sharing to their own employees as part of their Staff Travel Plan to reduce commuting and business travel by private car. They now have a number of dedicated car sharing bays for staff at County Hall.

A little background on the routes in

Five of the county’s ten main towns are located on the south coast, which is served by the A27(T) and the Coastway West rail route. Traffic congestion is a particular problem around Chichester, Arundel, and Worthing. The other main towns, along with Gatwick Airport, are located in the north east quadrant and are linked to both London and the coast by the A24, A23/M23 (T). They are also serviced by Southern’s Mainline West route.

The story so far…

West Sussex implemented a regional scheme  available to members of the public ,which also incorporates 16 private groups that work in partnership with the council.

They have used a combination of various media to promote West Sussex Car Share including:

  • Posters
  • Leaflets
  • Online video
  • Radio adverts
  • Boards at Crawley Town FC
  • Promotional pens, pencils and keyrings


During 2013/14 and 2014/15 the council promoted West Sussex Carshare to business networks and the wider community as part of their recent Sustainable Travel Towns programme (Local Sustainable Transport Fund). Over the period 831 new members joined the scheme; bringing the total to 3,797 members.

From these members:

  • 1,288 journeys are available for sharing
  • 232 members are confirmed as sharing a regular journey
  • 50,854 passenger trips are forecasted for the next 12 months
  • 296 tonnes of CO2 to be saved in the next 12 months via 124 BUDi teams

Being able to demonstrate that the scheme has hundreds of members gives it credibility, shows people that others are doing it, and also gives comfort that users will find a car share partner.

With the help and support of Liftshare, we anticipate the success of this scheme will continue.

We are pleased with the friendly service that we receive from Liftshare. Being able to access all the monitoring information and ideas for campaigns online is extremely valuable and helps us to assess the impact our marketing is having. Andy Mouland – West Sussex County Council

Author Jonathan Scutt


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