The growth of car clubs in Bristol

12 04 2012

Bristol has one of the largest networks of car club vehicles in the UK, with nearly 2000 members using 63 cars across the city. A consultation that continues until next week proposes adding 31 more car club parking places, expanding schemes to areas where they do not currently operate.

So is you live in Bragg’s Lane in Lawrence Hill, Crowndale Road in Windmill Hill, Luckwell Road in Bedminster, Mivart Street in Easton, Royal Albert Road in Henleaze, Summer Street in Southville, Winchester Road in Brislington, and plenty more, expect a parking space near you to be commandeered for a car club soon.

Click here for the proposed plans in detail.

In this statement of reasons for the current consultation, Bristol City Council say: “Car Clubs provide an alternative to private car ownership. They allow residents to hire a car for journeys where a car is essential, whilst encouraging them to consider walking, cycling or public transport for other trips.

“Through encouraging more responsible car use a car club can help reduce congestion and pressure on parking space. Locally collected evidence suggests that a Car Club Parking Place and vehicle can reduce the parking demand in the vicinity by up to six vehicles. National statistics indicate the potential for even higher displacement levels to be achieved.”

In Bristol, City Car Club and Zipcar are the two biggest car club schemes. Here’s a brief comparison between the two:

A City Car Club car in Bristol, yesterday

City Car Club
Number of cars in Bristol: 45
Cars include: Fiat 500 TwinAir, Toyota Auris Hybrid, Vauxhall Zafira
Yearly membership: £60
Hire prices: From £5.70/hour and £47/day

A Zipcar car in Bristol, yesterday

Number of cars in Bristol: 14
Cars include:  VW Polo, VW Golf, BMW 1 Series, VW Touran
Yearly membership: £59.50
Hire prices:  From £5/hour and £49 /day

Here are what a few car club users in Bristol think of the schemes:

@kirstymhall: “Been a happy member of City Car Club for years. I can usually get a nearby car & any problems have been quickly sorted.”

@geake: “used to be with city car. It was ok, just a bit of a lame compromise really.”

@jorence: “CCC is excellent; good coverage, especially in Bristol. Very helpful, excellent service, easy to use website, etc. CCC is very good for short trips etc, the longer the journey and timescale the less economical it is, although it still beats owning a car (I estimated using city car/train/bus/bike saves me £1200 pa over owning a car).”

@libbymiller: “city car club for a couple of years – it’s good. Best value for infrequent short trips: hire car cheaper for >1 day”



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