Local authority gets car club cash

Poole Borough Council has been awarded £39,000 by the Carplus organisation to help launch a car club in the town. 

The car club will launch in the New Year with four electric vehicles and one hybrid vehicle. 

The vehicles will be based at exclusive car club parking bays at the Civic Centre and will be used by council staff during the day and car club members during the evening and weekend. 

Also, once the scheme is up and running, the council will trial an 'Travelmates' scheme, whereby groups of car club members will carshare and move vehicles between a day time business location and an evening and weekend residential location. 

This means that some of the cars can be located in other parts of the town, giving more Poole residents access to a car club car in their neighbourhood. 

"It's great that the merit of our bid was recognised and Poole was awarded this important funding allowing us to progress our plans to launch a car club,” said Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Cllr Ian Potter.

"In the current financial climate we need to look at how we can do things differently and still benefit Poole residents. By using car club vehicles rather than their own cars, our staff will be demonstrating that electric vehicles are a viable, zero emission, alternative to conventional cars and vans. Additionally, in the evenings and at weekends, residents who join the car club will be able to use the car club vehicles and have the benefits of using a car without having to own one. 

"I'm also pleased that the electric vehicles based at the Civic Centre will use electricity generated by the recently installed solar panels which is a good example of our joined up energy thinking,” added Cllr Potter.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues