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London Car Club Action Plan launched to boost membership to 1m by 2025

Date: 21 May 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

An action plan to increase the number of car club members in London to a million people by 2025 has been unveiled.

The action plan, dubbed Vision for Car Clubs  has been developed by Transport for London, London Councils, the Greater London Authority and a coalition of car club operators and stakeholders to encourage residents and businesses across the capital to sign up to car club schemes as an alternative to direct car ownership.

The members of the coalition are: Transport for London (TfL), London Councils, Greater London Authority (GLA), Carplus, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), Bolloré, Car2go, City Car Club, DriveNow, E-Car Club, Europcar, Hertz 24/7, and Zipcar.

Between now and 2025, the coalition will aim to grow car clubs into a mainstream alternative to private cars for journeys into the capital to help address future congestion, growth and environmental issues.

The group is also aiming to reach a joint target of a million car club members in London by 2025. TfL said that at present there are more than 135,000 car club members in London.

A BVRLA spokesman told BusinessCar that the target includes business users but it is too early to determine a split between fleets and consumers.

Currently 27 of the 33 London boroughs have on-street parking bays for the clubs with low awareness of the club being cited as a key barrier to car club growth.

The plan has set out what the group calls key action points. It said the members will deliver the points to grow the membership of car clubs.

The points include:

  • Working with London boroughs to develop best practice measures to promote car clubs as a sustainable travel option for local residents and businesses.
  • Improving access to data such as nearby parking bays through new technology and apps, as well as making more information available through the TfL website.
  • Creating more car club parking, as well as ensuring that new and existing car club bays are used as efficiently as possible.
  • Encouraging more low emission vehicles, particularly electric vehicles, within car clubs to help increase the environmental benefits and reduce noise pollution.
  • Using public procurement to encourage boroughs to use car clubs as part of their fleets.
  • Lobbying the Government to include car clubs in its own procurement frameworks to help build on the work being done at the local level.
  • Promoting car clubs to commercial and business fleets to help reduce the burden of fleet management and encourage further use of electric vehicles.

"The use of car clubs in London has grown significantly in recent years and we continue to support the initiative across London as a way to help reduce congestion and encourage sustainable travel," said Leon Daniels, managing director of surface transport at TfL.  "I myself am a regular user and this new action plan will help encourage more Londoners to consider the benefits of car clubs, including the money saved."

"Promoting new models of urban mobility is essential if we hope to deal with the issues of congestion, road safety and air quality that affect our cities," said Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive. "Car clubs, car rental and other forms of pay-as-you-go motoring are evolving at a rapid pace."