Roddy Graham's Blog: 11 June 2009 - Car sharing
11 June 2009
Car share schemes and car clubs have been much in the news recently, all positive stuff too. As regular readers of my blog will know, these subjects are close to my heart.
When at Budget Rent a Car not only did I introduce both but, in the case of car clubs, the Edinburgh City Car Club was the first commercial car club launched in the UK.
This new initiative not only made the headlines but won a major environmental award. Clearly innovation and good ideas can sometimes take quite a while to gather momentum - I launched the City Car Club in 1999 - 10 years ago!
News in this week is that Luton Airport is extending its staff car share scheme to include passengers. Precise details on how this will work are sketchy to say the least as there is no formal announcement yet by either Luton Airport or liftshare.com, the operators of the scheme.
Knowing my luck, details will be posted on their websites by the time this blog is posted!
Meanwhile, car club numbers have doubled from a membership total of 32,000 members in 2007 to 64,000 by the end of last year.
Although small beer, at least it's progress in the right direction. And neither is membership confined to private individuals, companies are getting in on the act too.
As an alternative to pool car schemes for the latter, or as an alternative to private vehicle ownership for the former for those living in towns and cities with good public transport infrastructures, the appeal is considerable.
The latest statistics were compiled by our neighbours here in Wokingham, TRL, on behalf of a national charity supporting the development of car clubs, Carplus.
One interesting nugget of information coming out of the TRL report is that 39% of those surveyed advised that they had lowered their carbon footprint as a result of car club membership, by reducing the number of vehicles operated and presumably by running around in smaller, more fuel efficient and lower polluting vehicles.
Several car clubs have reported increased interest from companies with one expected to have a 50:50 split between corporate and individual membership by the end of 2010.
As a flexible, hassle-free alternative to pool car sharing, car clubs make eminent sense.
Many still deride car clubs but they are definitely part of our future transport infrastructure. Make no mistake, "tall oaks from little acorns grow".