Norwich-based company Liftshare wins two awards for its commitment to sustainability and environmental excellence

Liftshare celebrating its 18th birthday last year. Founder Ali Clabburn (centre) with staff. Pictur

Liftshare celebrating its 18th birthday last year. Founder Ali Clabburn (centre) with staff. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

It is a service which allows people to save money and the environment by sharing their journey to work with another willing driver.

Now, the Norwich-based company Liftshare has won two awards for its 'outstanding commitment' to sustainability across Norfolk.

The online service puts drivers in touch with others who are wanting to travel in the same direction.

It is today used by more than 500,000 people in the UK and takes around 97 million miles off the road each year.

Drivers who share a lift are also said to save £1,000 per year in petrol.

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The company's success was recognised at the ninth annual eco awards yesterday, which are run by Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council.

It was chosen as the winner of the Eco small/medium business and the Eco hero categories.

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Liftshare founder, Ali Clabburn, hoped the recognition would encourage more people to get involved across Norfolk.

He said: 'In Devon, there are nearly three times as many members and you can get a lift pretty much anywhere. The public just needs to give it a go.

'In rural Norfolk, people [living in isolated areas] can have difficulties getting around and so there is huge potential for the county.'

Mr Clabburn founded the business in 1998 after struggling to get a lift from Bristol to Norfolk one Christmas.

Almost 19 years on and the service, based on Duke Street, is expanding to run 'behaviour changing workshops' and learning to better understand travel patterns.

Mr Clabburn said both initiatives could have a significant impact on encouraging people to take more sustainable forms of transport.

Through 'data scoping', Mr Clabburn said his company could provide employers with personalised travel plans for their staff.

By using home post codes and shift patterns, employees would be able to see if there were liftshare opportunities nearby or buses.

Meanwhile, its behaviour changing workshops aim to encourage people try alternative forms of transport.

Mr Clabburn said: 'Liftsharing is such a win, win, win you sometimes think 'why is not everyone doing it?' And that is because you have to change people's behaviour.'

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