CAR CLUBS AND CAR SHARING
IMPROVING YOUR COMMUNITY WITH GREEN
rethinking car use
CAR CLUBS AND CAR SHARING
IMPROVING YOUR COMMUNITY WITH GREEN TRANSPORT INITIATIVES
TRANSPORT AS A COMMUNITY ISSUE 05
CAR SHARING SCHEMES 07
CAR CLUBS 11
COMMUNITY TRANSPORT 19
OPTIONS FOR AVOIDING TRAVELLING 21
Further information 23
How we travel impacts on our wider community.
Over-use of private cars causes problems of
congestion, pollution, road safety and lack of
access to shops and facilities – because of
over-reliance on cars there is no public transport
available for those who need it. Collective
solutions need to be found which meet the
demands of our lifestyles whilst minimising these
negative impacts. This guide aims to outline
some of the less well known options of using cars
differently or ways of adopting other transport
modes where appropriate.
05 TRANSPORT AS A COMMUNITY ISSUE
transport as a community issue
The way we travel affects not just our own quality of life
but also that of those around us. Our transport choices
can have knock-on effects on our health and local
environment and can affect the quality of our wider
communities. The challenge is to adopt modes of
transport that improve, rather than erode quality of life.
According to the National Travel Survey, 25% of households do not have access to a car.
They suffer all the disadvantages of living in a car dependent society but are not able to
access the benefits.
INTRODUCTION USING CARS TO REDUCE CAR USE
How we travel impacts on our wider community. Over-use of Having access to a lift in someone else’s car or to a car you can use
private cars causes problems of congestion, pollution, road safety just when you need it (via a car club) are possible solutions to these
and lack of access to shops and facilities – because of over-reliance problems. Car clubs and car sharing help reduce the negative
on cars there is no public transport available for those who need it. impacts of cars on our communities. By offering an alternative to
Collective solutions need to be found which meet the demands of private car ownership, people think about the best way of travelling
our lifestyles whilst minimising these negative impacts. for each journey and typically increase their use of public transport,
walking and cycling by 50%. There are benefits not only to the
ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH ISSUES
community, but individuals save money and enjoy a healthier
Cars are responsible for much of the negative impact on our lifestyle too.
environment. In the UK, around 25% of CO 2 emissions come from
private car miles. Locally, other exhaust particulates contribute to
asthma and other lung conditions, which are becoming increasingly
common, especially among young people.
IMPACTS ON HEALTH FROM CAR POLLUTION
NOx Acid rain, water quality issues, exacerbates asthma
Hydrocarbons Eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, lung damage
+NO2 = Ozone
CO Reduces oxygen flow; impairs mental function and
Particulates Exacerbates heart and lung conditions
SO2 Acidic; exacerbates asthma
Obesity, especially in children, is increasingly being attributed to a
lack of activity, caused mainly by increased car travel. The problem
has grown significantly, with almost 27% of girls and 24% of boys
in England aged 11-16 classed as obese. There is a very clear
correlation between children’s sedentary lifestyles and rising obesity
– in particular a huge decline in cycling and walking (Sustrans
In 2004 34,351 people were killed or seriously injured on UK roads,
an unacceptable impact of our dependence on the car. Road safety
is also jeopardised by streets cluttered with parked cars making it
increasingly hard for children to play outside their houses or even
cross the road safely. In addition to this the congestion caused by
increasing numbers of cars on the road divides communities and
makes every day travel stressful and time consuming.
TRANSPORT POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION
According to the National Travel Survey, 25% of households do not
have access to a car. They suffer all the disadvantages of living in a
car dependent society but are not able to access the benefits.
People who are unable to afford a car or second car can find it hard
to access employment and amenities readily available to others,
especially in areas with poor public transport. Ironically high car
usage will jeopardise the viability of public transport services and
make provision even worse.
07 CAR SHARING SCHEMES
car sharing schemes
Car sharing can provide a useful alternative to the private
car. It can be adopted for either the daily commute to
work or school, or for one off trips to festivals, football
matches or other events. Car sharing saves money while
reducing pollution and congestion.
In a local community context , informal car sharing is often taking
place on an ad-hoc basis. Friends and neighbours living close by
offer lifts to mutual destinations, perhaps for a trip to the
supermarket or swimming pool, or share the school run. This
informal sharing of lifts is an important glue, contributing to the
overall cohesion of the local community. In addition to reducing
local congestion and pollution and reducing transport costs, it can
help foster friendships between neighbours.
HOW THEY WORK
Car sharing is also known as liftsharing or ridesharing. It involves
two or more people sharing a lift, be it to work, on a shopping trip
or travel to a festival or other event. It can take place either as a
regular occurrence, or just a one-off journey. One of the people
travelling is usually the owner of the vehicle and the other(s)
generally make a contribution towards fuel costs.
Car sharing works well at this level, especially when friends or
neighbours have shared interests or similar lifestyles. In order to
‘I signed up in the first week and quickly found others within a 5-mile radius of home. It wasn’t
long before there were 4 of us sharing…the financial savings are amazing…£1,200 a year!’
PETER, CARSHARE DEVON
maximise the potential of sharing lifts, however, it is necessary to
create a more formal structure. This can be broken down into two
(a) Low-tech system
A low-tech system, such as a parish noticeboard being used to
request or advertise lifts. This system works well in smaller, more
rural communities, or as part of a closed community, such as in a
church hall or university students union. Lift offers or requests could
be pinned to the board. An administrator (if available) could hold
Alternatively, a map of the area could be displayed and people
could pinpoint their locations, with contact details stored separately
(b) Internet-based system
An internet-based system (possibly with phone back-up) allows
anyone with internet access to log on to advertise or request lifts and
search for matches. The system can be designed as part of a closed
group or community or open to anyone. An example of a branded
scheme can be found at www.btcarshare.com/ where a car share
scheme has been designed for use by a closed group, in this case the
BT company. Security features are usually present to prevent abuse
by non-genuine visitors. A great advantage of this type of system is
that it allows searches along a route, rather than simply at the
journey’s point of origin, thus maximising potential matches. Over the
past decade, car share has risen in popularity, to the extent that there
are now a number of national organisations dedicated to encouraging
this alternative form of travel. Liftshare.com, one of the most
prominent of such companies, boasts over 100,000 members and a
journey-matching success rate of up to 43%.
Car sharing saves money for both driver and passenger(s) when
they transfer from using a private car. Usually the cost of fuel and
any parking charges are divided equally between those travelling,
making the trip cheaper for everyone.
Car sharing can significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the
road, thereby reducing local congestion and pollution. It is one way
of reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles stuck in traffic
jams the length and breadth of the country. However, Carplus
would not encourage people to transfer to car sharing from more
sustainable methods of travel, such as walking, cycling or using
public transport as this would be counter-productive from an
environmental viewpoint. It might be useful to think of a bus or
train as a form of extremely efficient car sharing.
Reducing social exclusion
Communities can face challenges, in particular when a
neighbourhood has poor public transport links. If unable to afford a
‘Due to illness, I have had to surrender my
private car, individuals may be excluded from seeking or continuing licence to the DVLA. Basically if I can’t find
employment due to lack of mobility. Car sharing can help tackle
social exclusion by providing access to a vehicle without the a lift then I would have to give up my job.’
expense of ownership or by sharing costs for those who are
struggling to afford a private car. LIFTSHARE MEMBER
09 CAR SHARING SCHEMES
CAR SHARING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS The ABI represents around 400 companies, transacting 94% of the
business of UK insurance companies. Drivers with any concerns
This information sheet has been produced by Liftshare who run the should check with their insurance company as terms and conditions
largest internet car share scheme. Most of the questions refer to the may vary between insurance providers over time.
Liftshare scheme but some are applicable generally.
How do I contact the driver / passenger?
What are the chances of finding a perfect match to my Having selected a suitable travelling match, you should make
requirements? contact (to agree a time and place to meet) using their e-mail
address. We do not recommend that you exchange home addresses
Thousands of people have had success in finding traveling
(for security reasons), and we advise all members to meet in public
companions using liftshare, and our software has been designed to
locations such as a train station or bus station, which are easy to
identify all possible ways of getting you from a to b.
get to and away from, should the lift fail.
If, however, you're having difficulty in finding a match, we suggest
What happens if my liftshare fails?
that you look for a travelling companion for part of your journey,
and do the rest on public transport. liftshare is solely a travel information service provider and we
cannot be held responsible for any journeys that don't work out as
And remember – the more members we have, the greater the
planned. Likewise the drivers and passengers who register their
chance of finding an exact match. So make sure you tell your
journeys with us are under no legal obligation to their travelling
friends about liftshare, and get them to register their journeys
companions or to liftshare to make any journeys.
However we hope that if plans change and journeys can't be made,
Will my e-mail address be visible to other users?
that all affected parties will be contacted and forewarned with
No, your email address is kept hidden. The only information that is appropriate notice. We also suggest that travelling companions
visible to other users is your 'usually called' name, your smoking arrange to meet at locations close to public transport networks, so
preference, and the journey details you added. that if plans fall through the passengers have the option of using an
alternative form of transport to get to their destination on time.
Do I have to pay to search for drivers or passengers?
How safe is car sharing?
It is completely free to search for travelling companions.
The safety of our members is a priority for liftshare, and we have
What are the costs of liftsharing?
made our web-site as secure as we can. All members' details are
Liftshare suggests that passengers pay the driver 10p per mile each. stored securely in the database and only the members' intended
Alternatively drivers and passengers can split the cost of petrol. travel information can be accessed on-line.
Please note that drivers should not make a profit from car-sharing
When it comes to travelling, every member is responsible for his or
as this can invalidate their insurance. As a basic figure we advise
her own safety. However we do recommend that members' follow
that drivers receive no more than 40p per mile from passengers, but
some simple security measures outlined below:
if you have any concerns please contact your insurance company
• Avoid exchanging home addresses with your travelling
companion before you meet them.
What are the insurance implications of liftsharing? • Arrange to meet in a public place.
• Inform a friend or family member of who you will be travelling
The Association of British Insurers clearly states that car-sharing
with, when and to where.
won't affect the insurance of their members so long as a profit isn't
• Make sure you show each other your I.D.s – passports, student
made: "Giving Lifts - All ABI motor insurers have agreed that if your
cards or driving licences – so you know you're travelling with the
passengers contribute towards your running costs your insurance
cover will not be affected, as long as lifts are given in a vehicle
• You are under no obligation to go ahead with any liftshare. If
seating eight passengers or less. This agreement does not apply if
you have any doubts about your travelling companion, for any
you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers
reason, you should avoid travelling with them.
is your business." (Source: ABI website, 2005)
Increasing the average number of occupants per car to 2, rather than the average 1.6 would
reduce the number of cars on the road by 20%, as it would the CO2 emitted from those cars.
Is it possible to find travelling companions of the same sex?
(Single sex travelling i.e. Only females)?
Yes, through our public groups you can join all male or female car
Where should I arrange to meet my travelling companions?
We recommend that you meet your travelling companions at a
public place, close to public transport networks if possible so that
alternative transport options are available should the lift fall
through. We advise members not to meet at a home address for
security reasons. CASE STUDY CARSHAREDEVON.COM
Is there a local scheme for my area or type of organisation? Carsharedevon.com is a countywide car share matching
website, run by Devon County Council. Any employer or
There are a number of internet-based car share organisations who
individual can register on the site and in the first six months a
exist to successfully match people making journeys from similar
total of 1,000 people had done so. The Royal Devon & Exeter
destinations or along the same route. These sites are open to both
Hospital was the first to join as an employer group 'We bring
individuals and groups and can therefore cast a wide net to achieve
the service directly to the attention of our staff with leaflets,
considerable match success rates.
via payslips and with a direct link to Carsharedevon.com on the
However, many groups or communities would prefer to narrow the front page of our Intranet', says Bob Adams, car parking and
trawl in order to share only with other people in their own locality security manager at the NHS.
or who are a member of a particular group. Many internet car share
providers can make provision for this and can facilitate community
groups or others having their own private pages within the site. In
ACTION CHECKLIST YES NO
addition, many councils have created regional car share schemes
CAR SHARING SCHEMES
with localised branding and marketing. These are designed to
operate within town or county boundaries. The advantage of such a
Have you considered teaming up with a
scheme is that it can be marketed within a local area, for example,
friend/neighbour/member of your local
with advertising boards on congested main routes or with articles in
community group to share lifts?
the local press.
For a list of local car share schemes operated by Liftshare.com see Would it be possible to set up a car sharing
www.carshare.com noticeboard (and map) in your
neighbourhood or community centre so that
A list of national car share organisations can be found at
people could register lifts?
Would you or your community group be
interested in joining an organised car share
scheme, or setting up a group page as part of
an organised scheme? See
schemes.html for a list of schemes. Many
councils already fund car share schemes for
the local area.
Does your workplace (or leisure/activity club)
have its own car share scheme that you could
join? (see number 5. in Further Information)
11 CAR CLUBS
Car clubs are ideal for anyone who needs a car once or
twice a week. By allowing members to give up their
private car, parking pressures are reduced and members
tend to walk, cycle and use public transport more, leading
to improvements in health and the environment.
HOW CAR CLUBS WORK QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
A car club provides its members with quick and easy access to a car Who operates them and owns the cars?
for short term hire. Cars are based in on-street bays or in housing Most UK car clubs are run by one of several national operators.
developments or workplaces. Members can make use of car club The car club operator is responsible for all aspects of providing the
vehicles as and when they need them. All they have to do is: service, from owning and maintaining the cars (including cleaning
and repairs) to marketing and administering the scheme (including
BOOK Book for as little as half an hour at a time, using
billing). The benefit of an operator running the club is that they
telephone or internet. The booking can be made well
have experience in making car clubs a success and have a financial
ahead of time or with a few minutes notice.
incentive to do so. They may also be able to extend an existing club
UNLOCK Cars are located at designated parking bays in the local to cover a wider area. Some schemes are run by community
area and accessed using the member’s smart card. initiatives such as a housing association or community transport
organisation. Other, smaller schemes might be run by a group of
DRIVE Once inside the driver enters a pin and drives away,
friends or neighbours.
returning the car at the end of the journey. It is possible
to extend the booking if necessary. Different charging systems
Some schemes charge a monthly membership fee whereas others
PAY Pay-as-you-go charges include fuel and maintenance
roll all the costs into the hourly user charge. On top of being
costs. A subscription charge is paid monthly or annually.
charged per hour, users pay per mile driven or alternatively a certain
amount of miles are inclusive in the hourly rate and beyond that
the driver pays per mile. Operators often have different “tariffs” for
different levels of users in a similar way to mobile phone providers.
Methods of booking
In most schemes, members have the choice to book online or by
the telephone. A central computer then allows the member with
the right smart card to open the right car at the right time and
after entering a pin they can begin their journey. Members can
usually also book at the car on-spec using the car’s on-board
computer. If a car is free it will allow members to open the car and
enter booking details or extend a current booking.
Availability of cars
Operators are keen to ensure there is always a vehicle available
when needed by ensuring the right number of stations in each area.
Experience shows it is rare to have a failed booking. If a car is not
returned on time, the operator will try to provide a replacement car
or offer a taxi and the late driver will pay a fine.
Location of cars
Cars are usually located close to where people live or work. Local
authorities play a key role in providing on-street parking. This
ensures the car club is convenient and safe for members to access
as well as acting as an advert to attract new members. Giving road
space to car club vehicles puts them on a par with other forms of
public transport and can help to validate the club for the local
13 CAR CLUBS
BENEFITS OF CAR CLUBS GETTING ONE IN YOUR AREA
Fewer miles driven 1. Canvass opinion
Car clubs result in a reduction in car miles driven, with members Canvass support amongst the local community to gather evidence
walking or cycling more, using public transport more often or that there is demand for the service and the key ingredients for a
simply re-arranging how they make journeys and travelling less. successful club which are:
Reducing miles driven in turn reduces exhaust emissions and the • Pressure for suitable parking spaces eg: terraced streets, a parking
dangerous pollutants they cause. permit system or tenement blocks
• A mix of users eg: small businesses for daytime use and
Fewer cars on the road
residents for evenings and weekends. A mix of users works best
Car club users typically give up owning a first or second car on
in order to ensure that vehicles get optimum utilisation and
joining; others defer purchasing one due to using the car club
therefore the club is financially viable.
instead. The result being that each car club car replaces 6
• Enthusiastic, like-minded people to push for it to happen and
take the step of giving up their second car to join the club
Improving parking • Good public transport which is seen as mainstream.
Fewer cars on the road leads to decreased pressure on parking, • New medium to high density housing planned for the area.
which in turn leads to greater acceptance of controlled parking
2. Contact operators
Ask if they have plans to move to your town/spread to your
Fewer and more efficient cars neighbourhood. (Contact details at end of section) Let them know
A shift to newer, more carbon efficient and better maintained cars you have researched the potential and show you have significant
of car club fleets means that car club vehicles are normally more interest.
carbon efficient than the average private car. People joining car
3. Contact your local authority
clubs often give up a polluting ’old banger’, thereby further reducing
The Transport Planning department is the best starting point
although the Development Control and Planning Departments may
Reducing road accidents also be interested if there is potential for a car club to be
Taking cars off the road will similarly reduce the number of incorporated into planned new developments. Carplus can usually
accidents and deaths on the roads. provide the relevant contacts. Start by asking for a meeting. Carplus
may be able to attend this if there is funding to cover expenses. If
Tackling inactivity and obesity
not the following are pointers of what to cover:
These problems are strongly linked to car dependency. Car clubs and
• Is there any reference to car clubs in the Local Transport Plan?
car sharing help break the car habit and so contribute to more
• Have car clubs been considered for any new high density
developments seeking planning consent?
Creating liveable communities • Are there any Home Zones planned for the area?
Noisy busy roads littered with cars divide communities and foster • Are there any new or existing controlled parking zones in the
social exclusion. Giving space back to people from the car improves area which are causing complaints?
social cohesion and makes for vibrant communities. • Would the council consider using a car club instead of pool cars?
• Does the council have a travel planning team which can get
Making cars less dominant in our neighbourhoods improves quality
of life and health and brings communities closer together. 4. Rural locations
Recent research by the Countryside Agency found that transport is
IS THERE A LOCAL SCHEME FOR YOUR AREA OR the single most important concern of people living in rural areas.
TYPE OF ORGANISATION? Traffic growth on rural roads is now greater than in urban areas.
A number of studies have identified transport as a major barrier to
As car clubs are expanding rapidly in the UK, it is not possible to
social inclusion in rural areas. Car clubs can be a practical solution
provide a detailed map of club locations on these pages. Please go
for addressing the two challenges of reducing isolation and being
to www.carplus.org.uk and click on the map image or phone Carplus
reliant upon a private car. Car clubs can work well in rural areas,
on 0113 234 9299 to find out if there’s a club near you.
provided there is a reasonably dense population to ensure a viable
membership and easy access to cars and that there are some public
transport links and local services to ensure that private car
ownership is not essential.
FAST TRACK GUIDE
You may wish to refer to and provide a copy of the Carplus Fast
Track Guide to setting up a Car Club which can be ordered from the
Carplus office or downloaded at www.carplus.org.uk/resources.
Suggest holding a public meeting to gauge support.
‘I decided to get rid of my car because I was hardly using it. I use WhizzGo [car club] cars
now to visit clients, go to the supermarket and days out in the countryside. I know it saves
me a lot of money and I have started to walk places more and use my bicycle.’
15 CAR CLUBS
‘I think the freedom from worrying about maintaining a car is more important to me than the
financial savings – but those are considerable.’
SETTING UP AN INFORMAL VEHICLES
Decisions need to be made on:
Car clubs do not have to be arranged through a formal group. It is • whether to use vehicle(s) already owned by members or
possible to set up a car club arrangement with friends, neighbours purchase a car together
or colleagues, either using cars already owned by members of the • a location for each vehicle - unless it is to be kept at various
group or by purchasing a car together. One of the main benefits of members’ houses at different times during the week.
an informal club is its flexibility. It can be shaped to match the • arrangement for access to keys
members’ requirements. It is important to achieve a balance • carrying out tasks such as buying fuel, cleaning and maintenance
between maintaining this flexibility whilst also having a working of the vehicle.
structure that is effective and equitable.
There are several things that you need to think about when setting
• It can be simpler for the car club to have its own bank or
up a car club:
building society account so that all financial transactions are
MEMBERSHIP clearly recorded. The account should be set up as a non-profit
making club not a business.
• You will need members with a mixture of trip requirements to
• The annual running costs of your car(s) can be calculated using
minimise overlapping demand for use of the car
the leaflet ‘Your Car Costs’ or the spreadsheet ‘Add up your
• Booking could be managed in a number of different ways:
Travel Costs’, both available from the Carplus office or website –
– allocate time slots on a regular basis: ask prospective members
to identify when they would need access to the car and set up
• Each driver in the club should contribute to the vehicle’s full
a simple weekly rota.
operating costs, with no member making a profit. Payment could be
– operate on a first come first served basis, using a simple
– by the mile and/or by the hour
– an agreed monthly amount – possibly in proportion to how
– a combination of the above.
often the car is at each member’s disposal.
• It gives a more secure footing to have members who can give at
least one year’s commitment to the club; it is also helpful to
have an existing level of trust between members.
• Establish clear ground rules; a written agreement is not essential
but may save disputes in the long run.
• Establish at the outset what will happen if the car club is
disbanded, e.g. who can sell the car (if it is jointly owned) and
under what conditions, and how any remaining money in the
club will be divided
17 CAR CLUBS
INSURANCE CAR CLUB OPERATORS
A car club can operate using normal insurance, so long as no profit CITYCARCLUB
is made by the keeper or any of the owners, and you inform the www.citycarclub.co.uk
insurance company. You may find it more difficult to cover more Tel: 08453 301 234
than one vehicle. Some points to consider when looking for Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Insuring in the name of the club www.WhizzGo.co.uk
– Using the club’s name can cause less hassle for a single Tel: 0870 446 6000
individual – however it will probably be more expensive and Email: contactus@WhizzGo.co.uk
harder to get.
– You will need to give an address for the club
– You will be more likely to succeed with a broker who is used
Tel: 0845 644 8475
to dealing with company insurance or with community
• Insuring in one person's name with additional named drivers
The norm seems to be 4 or 5, but some clubs have covered up
Tel: 0207 960 6421
to 12 members
• If applying for any driver cover:
– Specify the minimum age of the drivers (e.g. over 25) ‘It’s a real luxury to have comfortable
– State that only drivers with clean licences will drive the vehicle
(if this is true)
mobility on tap … and the huge amount of
• Insuring for business use
resources needed to make a car is shared out
– Sometimes limited business use can be added at no extra price. between several users.’
– Full business use for all drivers may be possible at extra cost
• If you want comprehensive insurance cover, check out that it NICOLA, SUTTON
covers all drivers
• Most insurance policies will state that the vehicle must not be
used for hire or reward. Check out with your insurance broker
that it is okay for drivers to pay for hours used and/or mileage to
cover the costs incurred in running the club, but stress that no
profit is made.
• It is worth considering paying extra for no-claims bonus
protection, particularly if the policy is in one driver’s name
Contact Carplus for details of insurance brokers that other informal
car clubs have used.
‘Being a car club member, first of all, saves you money; I keep running the cost through my
mind thinking whether or not I should buy another car and I reckon I save a couple of grand a
year in a car club.You also tend to see transport in a more complete way. There are a number
of different ways to get places: by public transport, by car, by bicycle or walking. For me, it is
important to do what I can as an individual to reduce my impact on the environment.’
ACTION CHECKLIST YES NO
Calculate how much your car presently costs
you to run using our calculator
l_costs.xls Running costs could be
dramatically reduced by joining a car club
Does your neighbourhood have a lack of
parking, good public transport links and some
enthusiastic like-minded people who might
consider joining a car club or helping set
Could you manage without a second (or even
first) car? For people who only need a car two
or three times a week (and not for the daily
commute), joining a car club is much cheaper.
Do you/your group have a vehicle that could
be shared between friends and neighbours as
part of an informal car club?
Is there a local scheme in or near your area?
Go to www.carplus.org.uk and click on the
map to find out
Does your workplace currently have pool/
company cars? These could be replaced by a
car club to dramatically reduce time and
money spent on administration. This would
also mean that employees could commute by
other means but would have a car available
during the day.
Contact your local authority transport team
and enquire if they have any plans for a car
club. Many local authorities have committed
to sustainable transport and may just need a
nudge in the right direction.
19 COMMUNITY TRANSPORT
Community transport provides a means to access vital
services for older people, mobility impaired, or those
with no access to transport. It enables attendance at job
interviews and leisure activities, thereby helping to
reduce social exclusion.
COMMUNITY TRANSPORT SOLUTIONS FOR
VOLUNTARY GROUPS OR SOCIAL ENTERPRISES
Another alternative to using private cars for a voluntary group
travelling to one destination is to use community transport services.
There is a strong network of community transport organisations
across the UK, providing minibus and voluntary car schemes in a bid
to tackle social exclusion and problems of access to amenities
CASE STUDY ANYTOWN WOMEN’S INSTITUTE
The community transport sector is vast. There are over 100,000
minibuses serving over 10 million passengers every year, being Anytown Women’s Institute were keen to help their local
operated for use by voluntary and community groups, schools, hospice build a garden for the patients to enjoy. However,
colleges and Local Authorities, or to provide door-to-door transport some members of the group lived in rural locations without
for people who are unable to use other public transport. This door- public transport and lacked access to a car during the day.
to-door transport is not limited to minibuses though; there are very The WI contacted their local Community Transport Association
many voluntary car schemes throughout the UK where a volunteer and arranged to use their minibus each Wednesday afternoon.
will use their own car to provide transport for individuals. One member of the WI collected the minibus and tools, then
picked up each of the other members en route to the hospice.
Overcoming social exclusion is at the heart of what community
The journey was then reversed at the end of the day, enabling
transport has always been about. The Community Transport
even members in the most rural locations to get involved in
Association is committed to helping its members achieve this
building the garden.
objective in their area both in terms of the direct support it can
offer such as training, developmental support etc. but also by
lobbying on behalf of the movement with government and other
important agencies. Most recently, for example, the CTA has been ACTION CHECKLIST YES NO
working very closely with the government’s Social Exclusion Unit COMMUNITY TRANSPORT
over their transport study, stressing the importance of supporting
local, community-based initiatives in transport provision. Are you a member of a group that could
occasionally or regularly use a minibus to
Car clubs and community transport mesh well together. For
travel to activities, rather than each travelling
example, an MPV or other large vehicle could double up to be used
separately by car?
as part of a dial-a-ride scheme during the day, but in the evening
and/or at weekends be made available for members of a car club.
Is there an existing community transport
This sort of set-up would ensure optimum use of the vehicle as a
scheme in your area? See
The Community Transport Association is the umbrella body for htm for a list.
Community Transport in the UK and can provide a wealth of advice
and information. Contact them on 0161 367 8760 or email Would members of your group or community
CTAUK@CommunityTransport.com for advice on setting up your have the enthusiasm and commitment to set
own scheme. For a list of all Community Transport Schemes in the up a community transport scheme? The
UK see www.communitytransport.com/links/catlinks.htm Community Transport Association could
provide expertise to help with this.
‘People without cars are twice as likely to find
it difficult to see friends and family and
access leisure services as those with cars.’
SOCIAL EXCLUSION UNIT 2003
21 OPTIONS FOR AVOIDING TRAVELLING
options for avoiding travelling
Making sensible choices about where and how we live,
work and shop enables us to reduce the distance we
need to travel. This in turn improves our own
environment and quality of life.
55% of car users say that they would like to reduce their car use.
SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE, RESEARCH FINDINGS 202, 2005
56% of all car trips … have at least one environmentally friendly mode alternative
(public transport, bicycle, walking) available.
DARLINGTON BOROUGH COUNCIL / SOCIALDATA / SUSTRANS 2005
SHOPPING LOCALLY TECHNOLOGY AND THE WORKPLACE
In the past, amenities were almost always within walking distance of Where work is concerned, rush hour congestion can be cut by
people’s homes. Communities would consist not simply of houses, people taking the option of working from home, even if they do so
but local shops – bakers, greengrocers, newsagents etc, in addition to only one or two days a week. Benefits to employers include a less
facilities such as schools, post offices and community centres. stressed and therefore happier workforce as employees forgo the
The advent of mass car ownership brought with it the ability to twice daily battle on the roads. Employees will also be better off as
travel, at a moment’s notice, wherever people wished. This has lead a result of the cost savings from not travelling.
to a decline in local shops and services as people travel further afield
By providing facilities for teleconferencing as opposed to always
looking for a wider variety of goods at more competitive prices.
travelling to meetings, business miles can be dramatically reduced,
The flip side of this opportunity being of course that the local shops
especially in the case of long distance or foreign travel.
were no longer there when people wanted them, which meant
travelling by car became a necessity rather than an option. Another facet of a company travel plan could be having a car club
on site to reduce the necessity to drive to work. This could be a
Responsible car use can help reverse this trend. Car clubs and car
replacement for, or an addition to pool cars. Employees know there
sharing reduce the temptation to clock up unnecessary miles
will be a car available when they need one during the working day.
travelling to out of town supermarkets when the items needed are
Similarly, a workplace-based car share scheme can reduce private
stocked at the local corner shop. Car clubs and car sharing put cars
car commuting and thereby decrease on site pressure for parking.
on a par with other transport options as the journey has not been
paid for in advance. Therefore, the traveller can make a free choice By considering more carefully how we travel it is possible to reduce
between the transport options available and is more likely to unnecessary mileage and sometimes avoid making a journey
choose a stroll to the local shop. altogether. This is not only good for the environment and our
pockets, but can give us more leisure time and a better quality of life.
Furthermore, it can help for people to consider which services they
need to use and how these might be accessed when choosing
where to live. Excessive travelling times can be saved by moving
closer to the workplace or to shops and other services, or by
ensuring that the area is well served by direct public transport links,
footpaths and cycle lanes.
The advent of new technological solutions has brought with it
opportunities to reduce the journeys we make. The internet is now
a popular alternative to traditional shopping. Everything from food
to Christmas presents to a new car can be bought in this way.
Having items delivered by post reduces local pollution and
congestion and if companies plan their routes well can also be more
efficient in the case of van deliveries.
ACTION CHECKLIST YES NO
OPTIONS FOR AVOIDING TRAVEL
Could some of your car journeys be made
using alternative methods such as bus, tram,
walking or cycling?
Would it be possible to buy more of your
shopping locally, rather than travelling by car
to out of town shopping centres or
Could you do more of your shopping online
and get it delivered/posted e.g. food, clothes,
books, cds, presents etc?
Would your employer permit you to work
from home, even for one or two days a week
to save commuting?
Could your workplace use teleconferencing
instead of always travelling to meetings?
1. CityCarClub Ltd ‘Guidance notes on running an informal car club’
Downloadable free of charge from
or available from Carplus on 0113 234 9299
2. Streets Alive! ‘Sharing car use with friends’
T 0117 922 5708
3. Carplus information sheets ‘Case Study: Rusty Car Pool’
4. Anna Semlyn ‘Cutting Your Car Use’ To order contact Paul Rossiter
or John Elford at Green Books Tel: 01803 863260 or email
5. Carplus ‘Car Share Reference Guide 2005’ can be downloaded
what carplus does
Carplus is the national charity promoting responsible car use.
Whilst recognising the benefits cars bring to society, the charity
is acutely aware of the financial, environmental, social and health
costs of motoring today and aims to work to reduce these.
Carplus is running a 3-year programme 'Breathing fresh air into
local communities'. The aim is to energise networks of people who
share our target of reducing car dependency and pollution by
focussing on car clubs and car sharing. The programme is raising
awareness through websites, newsletters and free regional seminars
providing tailored information to help identify opportunities for car
clubs and car sharing. The Carplus team are on hand to provide
advice and information to community groups and transport
professionals on the best way forward.
The goal of the programme is to reduce pollution and the impact of
the car which in turn improves neighbourhoods and communities.
This guide is designed to help people identify and develop
opportunities in their local areas in order to achieve these aims.
Carplus Suite C17 Joseph's Well Hanover Walk Leeds LS3 1AB
T 0113 234 9299
F 0113 242 3687
CHARITY NO. 1093980
rethinking car use
RETHINKING CAR USE
How we travel impacts on our wider community.
Over-use of private cars causes problems of congestion,
pollution, road safety and lack of access to shops and facilities
– because of over-reliance on cars there is no public transport
available for those who need it. Collective solutions need to be
found which meet the demands of our lifestyles whilst
minimising these negative impacts. This guide aims to outline
some of the less well known options of using cars differently
or ways of adopting other transport modes where appropriate.
rethinking car use