8 Dec 2020

Pleased that Green motion on car clubs was passed by council last night. Below are the comments I would have made had time permitted followed by the motion itself:

This motion, if passed and implemented would tick many boxes:

Environmental: can I remind council that our climate commitments include the need to fully decarbonise local transport by 2030 in order to keep within our carbon budget. Car clubs offer a route to reducing car ownership which helps to cut embedded carbon and minimise car journeys. They will also help reduce power consumption going forward which is critical as our society becomes more and more dependent on electricity, not only for transport but to heat our homes and offices.

Regeneration: meeting our brownfield first housing aspirations requires not only higher density housing developments but a laser focus on land use which must be used far more efficiently and intelligently than in the past. As with public transport and active travel investment, the infrastructure for car clubs needs to be planned in tandem with new developments.

Social justice: with petrol and diesel car sales set to end by 2030 car ownership is set to become less affordable while at the same time, younger generations increasingly find car ownership less attractive. Car clubs give people flexibility not to own a car but to retain access when public transport or active travel is not feasible.

Over 350,000 people in this country are already members of car clubs. However, Wirral is not well served at present and barriers to entry for private operators are significant. There is a clear role for the public sector to provide strategic direction to private companies to ensure the potential gains from an effective car club network are maximised.

Some work has already taken place within the council looking at experiences elsewhere and the lessons that can be learned. This motion seeks to provide political support to officers to build on this work in order to develop our strategic vision. We need to ensure we are well placed to bid for funding streams as we already have recently to help develop a charging network for electric vehicles.

So I therefore recommend this motion to council so that this work can commence as soon as possible.

Supporting Car Clubs in Wirral

Council notes;

The targets for new housing imposed by government on Wirral, the desire to protect our precious greenbelt and the resulting need to achieve higher density levels in new housing developments

the unanimous declaration of a Climate Emergency by Council in July last year and the related “clean travel” commitments outlined in the Cool 2 climate strategy with a clear objective to decarbonise local travel

the many changes indicated as part of the Cool 2 strategy which include: “a shift from individual ownership of vehicles to the use of travel services, e.g. car clubs”

that Car Clubs are an alternative to car ownership. They enable people to share cars, and only pay when they are using them. Although many schemes now operate across the country, there is no established scheme for Wirral

that many councils actively support local car clubs in a variety of ways – providing financial and/or marketing support, facilitating vehicle access and via specific policies which, for example, mandate provision for car club vehicles in new housing schemes

Car clubs therefore have a role to play in supporting a number of the council’s objectives for transportation, regeneration, climate change and sustainability

Council requests that

The Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee incorporate a study of car clubs into its work programme, to include;

A survey of the current provision of car clubs in the Liverpool City Region

An analysis of council support for car clubs elsewhere in the country and the potential application of similar support in Wirral 

Recommendations as to the specific policies and measures required to help facilitate future car club provision in Wirral

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