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Car clubs flourish in recession

PUBLISHED: 12:33 20 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:31 24 August 2010

by Will Davies The number of drivers in the borough who have flogged their cars in favour of a car club has doubled in the last six months. More than 1,000 residents in Brent now belong to the car club Streetcar, a rise of 50 per cent in

by Will Davies

The number of drivers in the borough who have flogged their cars in favour of a car club has doubled in the last six months.

More than 1,000 residents in Brent now belong to the car club Streetcar, a rise of 50 per cent in just six months.

Now Brent Council is backing a scheme offering free membership, in a bid to take more than 100,000 cars off the capital's roads by 2012.

Car Crunch London is urging Londoners to give up their cars in return for two years free membership of the pay-as-you-go car hire service, worth £119, and up to £250 driving time over that period.

Antony Palourti , senior sustainable transport officer at Brent Council, said: "We have fully embraced car clubs in Brent as a sustainable way for our residents to use a car when they need one but without clogging up our streets when they don't. Car Crunch London should accelerate this shift away from private car ownership further and we are looking forward to working with Streetcar to promote this offer fully."

Motorists can rid themselves of the costs and hassles of owning a car in the city, whilst dramatically cutting their carbon footprint.

Members book a car online or over the phone and use a remotely activated smartcard to unlock the vehicle, which is normally within a few minutes walk of their home. At the end of the journey, the car is returned to its dedicated Streetcar parking bay.

Membership across London more than doubled to 50,000 in 2008, and is expected to rise to 250,000 by 2012.

Research reveals members tend to use a car over 70 per cent less after joining, and every car club vehicle takes 20 privately-owned cars off the road.

For more information visit streetcar.co.uk.

w.davies@archant.co.uk


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