I wish to clarify a few points in response to your recent article ‘Costly car share scheme hasn’t delivered’ (Oxford Mail, April 18).

On the publication date there were in fact 481 members, not the 407 which was quoted from a response to a Freedom of Information request citing figures as of March 23.

The number has since risen to 495 and will continue to grow as more people become aware of the scheme.

The article also unfairly compared Oxfordshire Car Share, which is just nine months old, with schemes that have been running for the most part for at least five years and have amassed many more members as a result.

The Somerset scheme was not set up in January as stated, but launched in June 2008. We now estimate members of the scheme have already saved over £35,000 – the same as what the council has spent in total so far.

Again, that figure will continue to rise while much of what has been spent to date is either one-off investment or licensing costs, which will not need to be incurred again for years.

The smaller savings estimate of £26,000 included in the article (again from the earlier FOI response) was still indicative of a scheme already close to paying for itself – but this was buried in the penultimate line.

While there have been many recent examples of councils wasting money rightly exposed by the media, this did not deserve to be presented as one of them.

Public funds are indeed very tight at the moment and must be spent with the greatest of care, but this is a relatively low-cost scheme with the long-term potential to benefit virtually everyone in the county.

Finally, the story failed to address the environmental benefits of the scheme – which so far amount to about 166,000 miles and 55 tonnes of CO2 saved – plus the social inclusion benefits.

For more about Oxfordshire Car Share, please visit oxfordshirecarshare.com.

Ian Hudspeth, Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure, Oxfordshire County Council