Carplus welcomes Transport for London announcement of first pan-London Car Club Action Plan launched to boost take up in the Capital

21 May 2015

• Around 85 per cent of UK car club members already based in London
• New plan will help reach new joint target of one million London car club members by 2025
• Future growth of car clubs will help improve London’s air quality and reduce congestion in the Capital

The new Car Clubs Strategy for London was launched today to encourage residents and businesses across the capital to sign up to car club schemes as an alternative to direct car ownership.

The new action plan, jointly developed by Transport for London (TfL), London Councils, the Greater London Authority (GLA), Carplus and a coalition of car club operators and other key stakeholders, aims to grow car clubs into a mainstream alternative to the private car for essential car journeys in London. This will help to address a number of challenges faced in the coming years, including population growth, congestion and environmental issues.

Alistair Kirkbride, Executive Director at Carplus said:

“Car Club use meant that there were 14,000 fewer private cars on London’s roads in 2014. We welcome support from Transport for London, London Councils and the Greater London Authority for the Car Club Strategy. By working together we can grow car club membership in London to levels which will greatly reduce pressure on the roads whilst giving people access to cars when they need them.”

London is already one of the leading car club cities in Europe – 85 per cent of UK car club members are in the Capital – and the new action plan will help take this further by developing and promoting car clubs and setting an example for other global cities to follow. Encouraging further use of car clubs was a key recommendation from the Mayor’s Roads Task Force, which was set up in July 2012 to help deliver a template for world-class streets and roads fit for the future.

London’s roads are already under pressure, and maintaining a highly functioning road network is central to ensure it retains its position as a world renowned economic capital. Research by the RAC Foundation has shown that the average city dweller’s car is only used for 4.6 hours a week, meaning that the vehicle is actually parked for 97 per cent of the time. With London’s population forecast to grow to 10 million by 2031, potentially bringing thousands more cars on the road in the next decade, car clubs are a part of the solution to address this.

Car clubs already have on-street parking bays in 27 of the 33 London boroughs and many boroughs have incorporated them into their transport infrastructure in innovative ways. However, low levels of awareness remains a key barrier to car club growth. To address this, the new Strategy sets out ten key actions, which will be delivered by all members of the coalition, to grow the membership of car clubs to one million users in London by 2025. The actions, which the partners will work together to deliver, 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 to maximise their potential;
  • 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, in a similar way to how cycle safety is promoted as part of the Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) scheme;
  • Lobbying Government to include car clubs in its own procurement frameworks to help build on the work being done at the local level; and
  • Promoting car clubs to commercial and business fleets to help reduce the burden of fleet management and encourage further use of electric vehicles.

For more information about Car Clubs in London, please visit developing car clubs in London/ and www.tfl.gov.uk/car-clubs.

– Ends

Notes to Editors:

• The new “Strategy for Car Clubs” action plan can be downloaded here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/car-clubs
• The members of the Car Club 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.
• Currently, the UK has one of the highest car club memberships in the world with more than 180,000 members. The majority of these are in London (more than 155,000 members in March 2015), with the greatest density being in Inner London boroughs such as Westminster, Camden, Islington, Wandsworth, Lambeth and Hackney.
• The implementation of the “Strategy for Car Clubs” action plan will form part of the wider work being carried out across London as part of TfL’s Road Modernisation Plan. With a budget of over £4 billion from now until 2020/21, this overarching plan represents the biggest investment in London’s roads in a generation, including hundreds of transformational projects within the existing road network. Using radical ideas and innovative designs, the plan will make London’s roads greener, safer and more attractive for the benefit of all road users.

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