Scottish car-club membership doubles in three years

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Popularity of car clubs in Scotland has seen membership double within three years to 25,000, a report finds.

According to the ride-sharing charity CoMoUK, the numbers amount to 674 flights to New York in emissions being saved.

Having been collecting car club data since 2007, the charity has found Scottish members are walking and cycling more (16% and 10% respectively) while their private car use has reduced by 26%.

For each car club vehicle in Scotland, about 14 private cars are taken off the road, equating to 6,700 vehicles thanks to the 488-strong car club fleet. Of those vehicles some 48%of them are electric or hybrid and 98% of the cars are compliant with low emission zones.

There has been a total of 4.2 million miles driven in car club cars during 2019/20, and by making these journeys in a car club vehicle rather than a private car, 354 tonnes of C02 has been saved.

Around 29% of Scottish car club members also decreased their annual mileage by an average of 2,796 miles, while 25% increased it by an average of just 1,096 miles and for the remainder, their mileage stayed the same.

This represents an annual reduction of 12.8 million miles, and if it is assumed that each mile would otherwise have been driven in a private car then this would mean a saving of 3,620 tonnes of carbon emissions. This is the equivalent of the emissions from 674 return flights from Glasgow to New York.

CoMoUK’s Scotland director, Lorna Finlayson, said, “Scottish car clubs are playing a vital role in tackling some of the major transport problems the country is facing, primarily carbon emissions, congestion and poor air quality.

“There is an urgent need to enact the Scottish Government’s own priorities, as set out in the National Transport Strategy, which identified single occupancy, private car journeys as one of the biggest contributors to transport emissions.

“With increasing public concern about the climate crisis there is a growing recognition that we need to take radical action now to cut transport emissions and shift more journeys to more sustainable modes – and car clubs are a huge part of this.”

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James joined the Traffic Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.

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