Feeds

DfT magicians conjure a nation of car sharers

The planet will have whatever they're smoking...

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

We are an environmentally conscious nation of car sharers, apparently. Or so the casual browser might conclude from a Department for Transport announcement claiming new research highlights "the popularity of car sharing."

Sadly, predictably, all is not as it seems. According to the announcement a hefty 61 per cent of those surveyed had taken part in some form of car share in the past month. But it kind of depends on what you mean by "car sharing". The less creative thinkers among us, when we think of car sharing, are likely to think of regular arrangements where two or more people share the journey to work in a single vehicle, thus reducing costs, peak hour congestion and pollution.

But for the sprinklers of magic happy dust at the DfT, such utilitarian definitions would appear to produce an insufficiently green result. Search in the raw data for evidence of what ordinary mortals might understand as car sharing and you find instead roads brimming with phalanxes of vehicles occupied by single, planet-wrecking n'er-do-wells. Quick! The happy dust.

According to the DfT, if you've either given a lift to someone, or been given a lift by someone from outside your household, then you have taken part in a car share. And in the month prior to interview, 61 per cent confessed to having struck this single blow for the future of the planet. Phew.

The rest of the report doesn't look half as clever. Only 1 per cent of those surveyed were members of a car share organised at their workplace, and only 6 per cent were passengers in a car every day. Only 8 per cent had given anyone a lift more than ten times in the past month, while 24 per cent hadn't done so at all. And the purpose of these 'car shares'? Leisure trips accounted for 26 per cent, shopping and services 24 per cent, and travelling to work just 14 per cent. Only 8 per cent got a lift because they wanted to ease congestion, and 7 per cent "for environmental reasons."

So actually, a relatively small number of people in the UK vary occasionally cadge a lift to work, formal car sharing is virtually invisible, and it's my car, so go and get the bus you pathetic sponger. Was that sound the sea level rising? ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.