Fleet News

Councils urged to incentivise giving up private cars

Richard Dilks

Councils have been urged to introduce incentives for people who give up private vehicles to help increase the use of shared transport.

Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), the shared transport charity, suggests that people could be offered ‘mobility credits’ for choosing alternative modes of travel like car clubs and bike hire schemes.

In its manifesto for English local authorities ahead of May’s local government elections, CoMoUK said councils must do more to support shared transport schemes to help cut carbon emissions and improve the nation’s health.

Richard Dilks, chief executive of CoMoUK, said: “Shared transport schemes are already doing heavy lifting on decarbonisation but can go much further with greater support and should be employed right across England.

“The local government elections in May present an opportunity for shared transport to be built into the future travel policies of every local authority in England.

“Currently, shared transport remains underrepresented in the transport strategies and delivery plans of English local authorities.

“We believe further support is needed if the full benefits that sustainable transport can offer are to be achieved.

CoMoUK said the decarbonisation of transport requires “unprecedented action” if the net zero target is to be reached and insisted shared transport like car clubs and bike share schemes can contribute directly to cleaner air and better health.

Research by the charity found CO2 emissions from car club vehicles are on average 37% lower than the average UK car, with around 11% of car club vehicles now electric compared to only 1% of all vehicles.

The charity said membership of UK car clubs stands at nearly 800,000 members – a 24% increase on the previous year – and nearly 42,000 trips are made using bike share schemes every day.

Siemens UK has launched a new mobility scheme to provide on-demand vehicle hire to all its employees.

However, CoMoUK warned shared transport remains “frequently underrepresented” in the transport strategies and delivery plans of local authorities and stressed that further support is needed if the full benefits that sustainable transport can offer are to be achieved.

CoMoUK’s call for incentives for those who give up private cars is among 12 key actions the charity wants councils in England to support to help develop shared transport.

These include establishing transport policies with indicators to measure progress and goals for reducing individual ownership, investing a percentage of revenue from Workplace Parking Levy schemes in shared transport, and incorporating shared transport in the design of low emission zones.

The charity said local authorities should incentivise the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by offering reduced permit fees for electric car club vehicles and open access charging networks for car club and bike share operators.

It wants parking provision in new housing developments to be limited to one private car per property or less and for councils to support the development of mobility hubs and it has urged local authorities to establish a “best practice” by using pool vehicles and prioritising at least 5% of spaces in car parks over 30 spaces for shared vehicle use.

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