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DfT announces funding for car clubs

Posted by Richard Hammond at 10:08 on Wednesday 30 July 2014

Image: (Right to left): Baroness Susan Kramer, Minister of State for Transport, Chas Ball, Chief Executive of Carplus, Rex Warner, Founder, Norfolk Car Club. Photo: PRImage: (Right to left): Baroness Susan Kramer, Minister of State for Transport, Chas Ball, Chief Executive of Carplus, Rex Warner, Founder, Norfolk Car Club. Photo: PRTransport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced that car clubs are set to receive a £500,000 boost to drive forward their work.

The Department for Transport will provide the funding to support two pilot programmes which will promote much wider access to car clubs.

Baroness Kramer said: "Car clubs cut congestion, reduce carbon and save people money while still giving people the freedom and flexibility to use a car when they want to. Interest in car clubs is already gathering pace and we want to give that interest added momentum.

"This funding will highlight their many advantages to even more people and help take car clubs up a gear."

Across the UK car clubs have 159,000 members with over 3,000 cars.

The Dft says that evidence suggests that pay-as-you-go car use encourages people to walk and cycle more often and make more frequent use of public transport.

Carplus, the environmental transport NGO that promotes accessible and low-carbon alternatives to traditional car use in the UK, will manage a new car club development fund.

Chas Ball, Chief Executive of Carplus, said: “Car clubs are well established in London and are showing strong growth in some other cities. They have demonstrated a strong track record in reducing CO2 emissions and improving air quality. This is an exciting opportunity to expand this success and establish and grow car clubs in towns, cities and rural areas across in England.” 

This project will fund three demonstration projects in England to:

  • Expand an existing car club to meet the potential market in a town or city;
  • Establish a new car club in a city, town or county;
  • Develop better links between public transport and shared transport – including car clubs - to make travelling simple without owning a car.

The three projects will be delivered in three different towns, cities or areas.

In addition, Carplus will manage a Car Club Challenge Fund providing smaller grants to help kickstart or expand projects in small towns and rural areas. It will also fund projects that aim to improve integration between car clubs and other ‘shared mobility’ modes of transport like bike sharing as well as public transport.

Drawing on its Carplus Annual Survey, Carplus says that that car club schemes reduce car ownership, increase the proportion of low emission vehicles on the roads, help improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.

Car club benefits (derived from the Carplus Annual Survey for England and Wales 2013/14):

  • 65% of car club members travel less than 500 miles in the past 12 months.
  • 10% of car club members had sold or disposed of a car in the 12 months prior to completing the survey.
  • 28% of members said they would have bought a car if they had not joined a car club.
  • A car club car saves on average 0.80 tonnes of carbon per year
  • Across the UK the car club fleet saves over 2,700 tonnes of carbon per year – the equivalent of 886 return flights from London to Sydney
  • Car club vehicles in England and Wales typically produce around 33% less carbon than the national average car

>> www.carplus.org.uk

Article by Richard Hammond

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