London Conservatives call for car club boost

London Conservatives have called for the Mayor to back a ‘Boris-Bike’-style system for car clubs, making more parking spaces available for car-sharing services.

A report published today by Keith Prince, GLA Conservative’s Transport spokesman has suggested that increasing the number of spaces available to car-sharing clubs, would make their use more attractive, and help to cut congestion and improve air quality in the capital.

Car clubs like Zipcar see members pay a subscription or short term rental fee

Car clubs can see members pay an annual or monthly fee which allows them to hire a car on a short term basis, often for as little as one hour, which can be picked up from designated parking spots.

However, Mr Prince’s report suggests that a lack of available parking spaces means that many car clubs operate on a policy which means the driver must return the car back to the point it was collected.

The report cites evidence showing that every car club car in existence takes 13.4 vehicles off the road and claims the travel method could be the answer to reducing the number of cars in the capital.

Mr Prince also proposes a unique scrappage scheme using cash raised from the new T-charge. The idea involves offering drivers car club and public transport vouchers worth several times more than the value of their vehicle to encourage them to part with their car.

Congestion

Commenting on the report’s findings, he said: “This report shows that, where car clubs are successful, there is a significant reduction in the number of vehicles on the road. That has to be something worth investing in.

“It’s easy to envision a future in London where very few people choose to own a car and they are instead used like Boris Bikes, with people picking them up and dropping them off in different parts of the capital.

“The number of parking spaces available to car clubs is a significant barrier to their growth but the Mayor has an opportunity to help overcome that with the compulsory inclusion of spaces in new developments.

“So far, Sadiq Khan has used punitive measures to try and dissuade people from using cars. Incentives like the scrappage scheme and increased availability of car clubs must also form part of the package if London’s congestion and air quality is going to be improved.”