Car clubs and local authorities

Carplus works with national and regional transport agencies and local authorities to develop, deliver and support the roll-out of programmes that aim to harness the benefits of car clubs to meet policy objectives.

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Meeting policy objectives

Multiple key policy objectives can be realised through the implementation of car clubs, either independently or in association with partner projects.

The implementation of car clubs with local authority partnerships can contribute towards:

Reducing emissions and improving air quality

Research undertaken for Carplus reveals that:

  • On average, British car club vehicles emit over 33% fewer CO2 emissions per kilometre than the average British car (Carplus Annual Survey 2013/14)
  • London car club member households generate less than half of the carbon dioxide and local air pollutants per year from car use than the average London household (with at least one full car license holder) (The emissions impacts of car clubs in London, 2012).

Easing congestion

Easing congestion

  • 28% of car club members based in London have reduced the number of vehicles owned by their household since joining a car club, of which 53% report that the car club was the a factor (Carplus Annual Survey 2013/14)
  • Car club members typically belong to relatively low mileage households, with 72% reporting that their household did not drive any distance in household cars in the past year (Carplus Annual Survey 2013/14).

Improving access and social inclusion

Improving access and social inclusion

Car clubs and car sharing can help tackle social exclusion and improve quality of life by providing access to a vehicle without the expense of ownership. Freeing up road space that would otherwise be required for parking improves social cohesion, increases space for children to play and helps contribute towards vibrant communities.

In rural communities car clubs can help to reduce social exclusion and contribute towards rural resilience by ensuring that people have access to key services when public transport is not a viable option.

Improving new developments through reduced need for parking

Improving new developments through reduced need for parking

Narrow terrace streets and city apartment blocks cannot sustain increased car ownership patterns seen in low density residential estates. Car clubs enable parking ratios to be tightened, controlled parking zones to be effective and residential parking schemes to be more popular. With less emphasis on parking needs, planners and developers have the freedom to focus on low car housing and improved quality of life. This may allow space to be given over to shared amenities or even extra housing units, or open up the development of brownfield sites that would previously have been refused planning permission because they lacked parking space.

Regenerating brownfield sites

Regenerating brownfield sites

Car clubs enable parking ratios to be tightened, controlled parking zones to be effective and residential parking schemes to be more popular. With less emphasis on parking needs, planners and developers have the freedom to focus on low car housing and improved quality of life. This may allow space to be given over to shared amenities or even extra housing units, or open up the development of brownfield sites that would previously have been refused planning permission because they lacked parking space.

Reducing parking demands

Reducing parking demands

Car clubs reduce parking congestion (as multiple users share one car and one parking space) as well as by reducing traffic on the road as car club members tend to drive less and use public transport, walk and cycle more after joining a car club (Carplus Annual Survey 2013/14).

Locking-in behaviour change and supporting modal integration

Locking-in behaviour change and supporting modal integration

  • Car clubs provide access to a car without ownership. They act as a catalyst to increased use. Car club membership secures long term behaviour change which further locks people into an increasingly sustainable and integrated transport system, which lends itself to the continued adoption of progressive low emission technologies
  • Car club members make more trips by public transport and walking or cycling (74% of members report using a local bus at least once a week, 80% make walking trips of 20 minutes or more at least once a week and 32% cycle at least once a week).

Supporting low carbon technology

Car clubs can help to support the adoption of low-carbon and zero carbon technology through providing access to petrol/electric hybrid and electric vehicles. When car club members have had a chance to test new technology, this will help to promote more rapid adoption and use of low carbon technology in private vehicles.

The role of local authorities

In order to obtain the multiple benefits of car clubs, it is important for local authorities to recognise their role in securing the success of schemes in their areas.

Successful car clubs require local authoritiesā€™ support in the following areas:

  • The planning and transport teams
  • The Traffic Regulation Order/Traffic Management Order process
  • Parking management
  • Promotion
  • Council fleet conversion to car club useĀ involving HR and Finance
  • Supportive cross-departmental policy framework.

 

Shared transport delivers a range of benefits which contribute to key policy outcomes. Download the document on what shared transport can do for LEPs below.

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