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Research confirms car clubs' role in cutting CO2

Car club members in the UK play a key role in reducing congestion, parking problems and carbon emissions according to a report published by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) this week. The latest and largest survey of car club members in the UK, commissioned by the national transport charity Carplus, compared the travel behaviour of members before and after joining a car club. This was then evaluated alongside national travel data by TRL to reveal that car club members have significantly lower levels of car ownership and car use than average members of the public.Highlights include:
  • A reduction in cars: Each car club vehicle replaced 23 cars on average. Scaled up, this suggested that, by December 2008, over 40,000 vehicles had been taken off UK roads.
  • Fewer car journeys: Members are considerably less likely to make journeys by car than non-members, opting instead to walk, cycle or use public transport.
  • Lower emissions: The average car club vehicle is around 35 per cent more efficient than the average private vehicle.
Commenting on the results, Antonia Roberts, Director of Carplus, said: “This fresh evidence highlights the value of investing in car clubs. Providing people with an alternative to traditional car ownership is essential to supporting active, integrated and sustainable travel, and car clubs not only provide this alternative but help to secure positive changes in the long term”. Transport for London (TfL) recently announced additional funding for smarter choices measures, including an investment of £1 million into the development of car clubs in London. This initiative was applauded by Ms Roberts who commented that: “This new funding for London is certainly welcome but further investment into the development of a national network of car clubs is essential to ensure that their benefits are available to individuals and communities nationwide.” There are currently over 74,000 car club members in the UK using 1,884 car club vehicles.

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Faye Sunderland

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