There are 25,000 fewer cars on London’s roads as a result of car-sharing club members selling their privately-owned vehicles, bringing both air quality and congestion improvements to the city, according to shared transport charity Carplus.
Car clubs enable members to book a vehicle on-demand, and the results of a survey published today (April 26) by Carplus show that for every vehicle used in a car-sharing club, 10 privately-owned vehicles are taken off the road.
With a reported 186,000 car club members in London currently sharing 2,800 cars, Carplus estimates that 25,000 privately-owned cars have been taken off the roads as a result – enough cars, it claims, to fill 50 football pitches.
Across the UK as a whole, meanwhile, there are reportedly more than 220,000 car club members with over 3,800 vehicles.
These findings are the result of Carplus’s Annual Survey of Car Club Members, which provides information about the size of the vehicle-sharing sector, the travel behaviour of club members and the emissions data of a club’s fleet.
The survey of 4,000 Londoners also found that car club membership both grew and diversified in 2015, with members walking, cycling and using public transport more than the national average. In addition, it found members are “increasingly interested” in driving electric vehicles.
Commenting on the findings, Kate Gifford, assistant director of Carplus, said: “One car club vehicle replaces as many as ten privately owned vehicles, freeing up space whilst allowing people to have access to a car alongside public transport, walking and cycling.”
“As several European studies have already shown, not only is it a convenient way to get around town, but by using DriveNow and other car-sharing services we are directly contributing to reducing congestion, getting cars off the streets, and improving the air quality in London” – Joseph Seal-Driver, DriveNow UK
Car club vehicles are also “cleaner and greener than the average car” and emit 30% less carbon dioxide than vehicles in the national fleet, helping to reduce a Londoner’s carbon footprint by 49%, according to the charity.
Joseph Seal-Driver, managing director of car sharing firm DriveNow UK – a joint venture between BMW Group and Sixt SE – said: “Finally we have proof that car-sharing works in London.
“As several European studies have already shown, not only is it a convenient way to get around town, but by using DriveNow and other car-sharing services we are directly contributing to reducing congestion, getting cars off the streets, and improving the air quality in London. In short, these positive effects on traffic levels are helping make London a better place. ”
It follows a report published last week (April 21) by Carplus looking at car clubs in new developments over the past 12 years, which found that car club schemes have helped local authorities to fulfil policies on congestion, traffic, air quality and carbon reduction by reducing car dependency and ownership.