COLUMN: Donnachadh McCarthy

News Desk (10 March, 2016)

"Car clubs save cash and help the planet!"

There are over 8,000 former or potential car-owners in Southwark who are already saving thousands of pounds in car costs every year, whilst also helping save the planet.

They are the members of the local car-sharing club. Club members one of over 150 Zipcars ( parked in specially reserved street parking spaces across the Borough, from as little as £6 an hour.

The RAC estimates including depreciation it costs about £6,000 to own a car per annum.  Many people realised that a car-club makes far more sense economically, if they are only using the car for occasional big-item shopping or trips to visit the in-laws or elderly parents.

Car-clubs also make important environmental savings. Each club-car can replace up to 20 individually owned cars.  This would save about 38 tonnes of metal, plastic and glass. It also frees up some of the huge amount of public open space taken up by car-parking and roads. In London it is estimated that 90% of our open space is now dedicated to car-users, when it used to be used by children to play outside their homes.

This is mad as the census says only 20% of Southwark residents own a car. Car clubs help people think twice about driving short journeys. Two-thirds of journeys in Southwark are under 5 miles and so cyclable in about 25 minutes. This reduces traffic congestion which helps business. It also reduces pollution which benefits all of us whether we are pedestrians, cyclists or drivers.

Most cars are parked unused for 95% of the time, selfishly wasting valuable space in the inner city, that could be used for kids play, housing or growing food.

Club membership costs about £60 per year and £30 for a second driver. You can book your nearest club-car online or via a mobile app. They have an easy club-car finding map online. There is a club-car within about 10 minutes walk of nearly everyone in Southwark. So if you are a local car-owner, why not think about it? You could soon be saving thousands of pounds and also happy knowing you are helping clean the air your kids breathe and saving the planet all at the same time.


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Donnachadh McCarthy