Car Clubs for the Road


Several residents have been interested in the issue of car clubs, following the success of the one in East Oxford. What do people think about this kind of scheme?

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3 Comments »

  1. Dick Wolff said

    East Oxford is perhaps the most obvious place to start a car club, given the congestion of the streets. The scheme is taking off rapidly, run by the company ‘Common Wheels’ (http://www.commonwheels.org.uk/) with the support of Oxcar – an on-the-ground residents’ group. They reckon it’s keeping 70 cars off the streets (though how that calculation is arrived at I’m not sure). I think they currently have 12 cars parked in designated bays dotted around the area, and demand is such that they need more.

    Common Wheels policy is to ‘hit the road running’ by encouraging residents to lease their cars to the scheme rather than raise money to buy new cars, and it seems to have worked. I read somewhere that if you use your car for less than 20 hours a week on average (I think that includes having it parked somewhere other than in its home parking slot e.g. while you’re in the supermarket as well as while you’re driving there) then it would pay you to use a car club rather than own your own vehicle. That made me sit up : I doubt we use our car more than 5 hours a week.

    My guess is that we are not alone in that in our part of Summertown. How much interest is there at least in exploring it?

  2. vrgblog said

    There is a post regarding controversy over the introduction of such as scheme introduced in Twickenham by the Conservatives. Apparently, according to the post at http://conservatives4twickenham.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/chaos-and-maladministration-in-starting-car-clubs/ , the Council surprised residents by placing car pool parking spaces on the road, which reduced available parking. Perhaps such a scheme would reduce the number of cars looking for parking spaces in the long-term, but this unintended consequence suggests that we need to be careful about what we ask for. Is this a genuine concern or possible outcome?

  3. Paul Lewis said

    We have discussed the notion of a car club at various VRG meetings over the past couple of years. There have been no positive conclusion but also not a great deal of interest from regular VRG people. My intuition is that to get anything moving in this area we’d need to consult well beyong Victoria Road – perhaps the Seven Roads Group – and possibly beyong that. Perhaps a Car Club could be considered within the remit of wider moves to create a low carbon community in North Oxford?

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