South Warwickshire is a large geographical area with isolated centres of population but with large rural areas and limited public transport options.
What is the challenge?
South Warwickshire is a large geographical area with isolated centres of population but with large rural areas and limited public transport options. The main mode of transport across the area is the car. Approximately 40 per cent of the CO2 emissions from South Warwickshire are transport related so it is crucial that the solutions include the increased use of car-clubs contributes towards reducing the reliance on single occupancy car travel.
As result of the action learning set programme what actions will you now take to address the challenge?
To understand how to increase the use of car clubs I need to:
- Need to research the current options, i.e., Commercial, Community or peer to peer car sharing options and engage early with providers.
- Research funding options further and explore what could be feasible.
- Understand how the proposal will fit in with key policy, Local Plans and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD’s).
- Find and correspond with key contacts both in the District Council and at County Council level, i.e., Planning/Development and Parking colleagues within the District Council alongside Highway colleagues within the County Council.
What will be the impact?
For individuals it is recognised that car clubs are a good alternative to those who may need or want to use a car occasionally and is cheaper than owning a car. As a local authority it can relieve parking pressure in towns and fill gaps in public transport provision. It can lead to an improvement in air quality due to less traffic on the road and encouraging the use of newer more efficient vehicles.
How will you look to sustain the approach in the long term?
The initiative cannot be undertaken in isolation, it needs a coordinated approach from the District Council and the County Council as the highway authority. It is crucial to involve Planning and Development colleagues, as it needs to be embedded within planning policy and decision making and needs to be tested slowly with a potential trial that is affordable, and the benefits measured.
An ideal initial proposal would be to introduce a car club within a new housing development or to introduce one for staff travel. Any instigated car-clubs need to involve EV’s and therefore any car-club initiative needs to run alongside the roll-out of EV infrastructure.
Bringing the question to the ALS group, allowed me to understand the experiences of other local authorities and made me realise that the implementation of car clubs cannot be undertaken in isolation and needs the agreement of different aspects of local stakeholders to maximise the success of any proposal.
Graham Folkes-Skinner, Sustainable Transport Project Officer, Warwick District Council - [email protected]