A POPULAR car sharing scheme has been given a £100k funding boost from Malvern Hills District Council to continue to support rural communities and reduce carbon emissions.
The Malvern Hills Community Car Club is a voluntary organisation, run by volunteers and members themselves, providing access to pay-as-you-go vehicles.
The scheme aims to improve accessibility to transport for residents in rural areas and helps households reduce their carbon footprint by not owning a car and having more consideration about their car use.
There are clubs already set up in Malvern, Bransford, Colwall, Ledbury, Leominster, Fownhope and Kington.
The council has provided £101,995 from its priority commitment to Community Transport fund and is calling out to communities to get involved.
This funding will go towards setting up four ‘satellite hubs’ to help facilitate the clubs, with the small town and larger villages of Tenbury, Upton, and Kempsey being specifically targeted.
The cash will also fund the set-up of an online booking system and upgrade three community cars to electric vehicles.
The council has a priority within its Destination Zero plan to encourage low carbon travel across the district, including car sharing. This forms part of the council’s vision to go carbon neutral as quickly as possible, but by 2050 at the latest.
The scheme also fits in the with the Connected Communities Strategy where the council is supporting communities to become strong, resilient, and sustainable.
Robin Coates, Co-founder of Malvern Hills Community Car Club, said: “Our volunteer run car sharing club started in 2009 and has now expanded to 25 vehicles used by 188 households.
“To be able to provide this service to towns and villages away from the Malvern area we need to find local residents interested in joining us to help with some of the local tasks in their area.
“We provide the car, insurance, maintenance and all the booking and billing systems.
“The members pay an hourly and mileage rate when they use a car.
“Gone are the unexpected nasty bills and the costs of owning a car when you are not using it.
“Most members make substantial savings.”
He urged people to get in touch to help set up a satellite car share club in their area.
“We need to move quickly as the grant is time limited.”
Coun Sarah Rouse, Portfolio Holder for Environment at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “The Malvern Hills Community Car Club is a brilliant opportunity to save money on travel costs and help others in your community.
“With more people working from home being a car club member means you can cut the cost of having a second car.
“Just borrow one when you need it.”
She added less cars on the road would help reduce carbon emissions in the district and the council had a commitment to support community transport schemes.
Visit malvernhills-carclubs.org.uk to find out more about the Malvern Hills Community Car Club.