By Gary Thomas
Eurostar has revealed that the Belgian city of Ghent's cycling program and liftshare, a car-sharing organization based in Norfolk, have won the first Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel.
The Ghent City Council and liftshare were chosen against four other finalists for their innovative and sustainable travel initiatives. The six finalists were selected from more than 120 sustainable travel initiatives from across Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. The winners will now share prize money of £30,000 to continue their efforts in promoting sustainable travel.
liftshare was selected for its continuous efforts in filling vacant car seats through its online car-sharing network that enables greener and friendlier way to travel at a lower cost. The judges are totally impressed with the initiatives of liftshare in promoting car-sharing such as a free-to-use public car-sharing network for individuals and customized paid for plans for businesses, organizations and local authorities, which are then available for free of cost to the users. The organization now has more than 332,000 active members and one in every hundred cars in the United Kingdom enrolled on the network. liftshare helps eliminate nearly 100,000 journeys every day from the roads in the United Kingdom, meaning that carbon emission reduction of 113,000 tons will be achieved by this year alone.
Eurostar selected Ghent City Council for its extensive mobility plan that helps in getting more people cycling. The council stood out to the judges thanks to its far-reaching safety initiatives, the development of a car-free city center, and investment in innovative marketing support. These efforts transformed Ghent as a green, safe cycling city.