A little carpooling could go a long way in the UK

Yes, the press release from Honda that's pasted after the jump is really nothing more than an ad for the Honda FR-V, but it's written in a way that just begs for coverage. And, why not? A chance to talk yet again about mpg per person and getting cars off the road is a good excuse for a post, don't you think? We'll ignore the FR-V part and focus on the other message.

Honda's point is that parents driving but one kid to school are not helping really anyone by clogging up the roads. A better alternative is to carpool (or, if available, I'd say public transportation). Honda points out statistics provided by the Department for Education Services (DfES), RAC Foundation and Liftshare.com that show that of the 9.6 million school children under the age of 16 in the UK, 27 percent of them are driven to school by car. And, since the national average is 2.1 people per car on the school run, that means there are a lot of empty seats moving between home and school. Combine this with Honda's research that found that 60 percent of parents "knew of another child within 500 metres of their home that attended the same school as their own child," and you've got the makings of a carpool (excuse me, liftshare) bonanza. Fewer cars on the road not only means less traffic, but also less fuel being burned, fewer CO2 emissions, etc. If you don't consider options like this, you might have to deal with the kid in the video after the jump.

[Source: Honda]

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Back to school means busier roads in the UK

Research conducted by Honda (UK) has found that nearly half of all parents who drive their children to school, take only one child in their car. As a result there are over five million empty seats on Britain's school run every day.

Honda's survey also reveals that if half of parents on the school run agreed to take just one additional child in their car, over 500,000 cars would be removed from UK roads at peak times.

"Motorists always dread the extra congestion on the roads when the school term starts," says Edmund King, Executive Director of the RAC Foundation. "Many parents of children who live further afield could show more innovation by car sharing on the school run. This can save time, money, congestion, aggravation and pollution.

"By car sharing in a modern people carrier, such as the Honda FR-V, the young occupants will be offered a greener, cleaner, quicker and safer ride."

Lift-sharing potential

* 589,091 cars would be removed from the UK's roads if just half of the parents that drive to school, agreed to take one additional child in their car*
* If these same parents drove a people carrier, like the six-seat Honda FR-V, a staggering 942,596 cars would vanish from the roads during the school run

Encouragingly, the research also showed willingness from parents, with over half the respondents saying they would like to lift share in future and recognising the environmental, financial and congestion benefits of doing so.

Importantly, Honda's research found that parents are able to share lifts – 60 per cent said they knew of another child within 500 metres of their home that attended the same school as their own child.

Lift sharing schemes are becoming increasingly popular around the UK, thanks to organisations like Liftshare.com.

"There is a strong case for car sharing on the school run and we are actively working with schools to set up official lift share schemes," says Ali Clabburn, Managing Director of Liftshare.com. "Honda's research shows what a small contribution can really do. In fact, our own research has shown that lift-sharing in a car – like the Honda FR-V – on the school run can be as economical and environmentally friendly as travelling by bus."

He adds: "People often think their journeys are unique, but approximately a third of our registered members have found a match for their journeys and with more schools signing up for lift share schemes, we believe this pattern will be reflected on the school run too."

Honda's FR-V is ideal for lift-sharing because...

* It has six seats, so can comfortably transport your child plus four friends
* For all those lunch boxes and PE kits there's 439 litres of boot space even when all the seats are being used!
* CO2 emissions are low with the diesel FR-V producing 167 g/km

More about the Honda FR-V

* The revised model was introduced in April 2007
* It has six seats in a 3+3 formation
* The two centre seats can slide back or forward, so that your child and their friends can chat easily en route
* Prices start at £16,127 for an FR-V 1.8 SE

For more information on the FR-V, visit www.honda.co.uk
For more information on sharing lifts, visit www.liftsharesolutions.com

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