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Too many cars during school run, says Highgate mum whose LiftShare app will let parents pool rides

PUBLISHED: 18:03 30 May 2018

Sonia Weetman has launched her own lift-sharing app. Picture: Sonia Weetman

Sonia Weetman has launched her own lift-sharing app. Picture: Sonia Weetman

Archant

A Highgate mum fed up with traffic pollution and congestion has launched a lift-sharing app to help clear the roads and make parents’ lives easier.

Sonia Weetman had the idea for LiftAngel when she realised many parents go through the same frantic rush each day before taking the same journeys in cars that have free seats.

The mum of three said: “My plan was to try and solve this for parents, along with tackling the particular problems of congestion and pollution in the Hampstead and Highgate areas.”

Sonia told the Ham&High the app, which had a soft launch around Highgate School in January, is designed to be simple and safe to use.

It’s free to use for parents. You can ask for a lift for a particular day and number of children – and if your friends respond the lift becomes “live”.

Offering lifts to others works the same way, with LiftAngel allowing you to broadcast any car space to friends.

Security was a priority for Sonia, too. Unlike commercial ride-sharing apps, LiftAngel uses a closed network, so you can only ask for lifts from, or offer them to, people you know.

She said: “I am a parent. I’m not going to put my children with someone I don’t know, and we knew that was going to be the same for lots of others, too.”

LiftAngel is not bound to schools, and its creator wants to see it used for taking children to events from birthday parties to football practice in the future.

It’s a personal project for Sonia, who worked in marketing and PR before she had children, and a chance to get back into work.

“I haven’t worked for 10 years,” she said.

“It can be very hard for mums to get back into work, and this is how I have tried to do it.”

And while LiftAngel is active mostly in north London, Sonia has big long-term plans.

“I’d love to see this roll out across the UK,” she said.

For more information see www.liftangel.com

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