Monday 17 September 2007

City hails plans for car-sharing

A CONFERENCE and exhibition is being held in Cork today to explore the possibility of a car-sharing scheme or a “car club” being started in the city.

Last week, city councillors approved a feasibility study that concluded that, despite the city’s low density population, a car-sharing scheme could work.

Under the scheme, club members would have ready access to cars without having the expense of buying, insuring and taxing a vehicle.

Club members book a car when they need it, go to a designated parking bay and open the car with a smart card and a PIN number. The car is returned to the bay when the trip is over.

According to the Sustainable Transport Council and managing director of mendes Ltd Graham Lightfoot, the car club is just one part of an “integrated traffic system”.

“An average car is idle 22 hours out of 24 hours. Yet, we pay for them 24 hours a day,” he said.

International studies have shown car club members only drive about two-thirds as much as earlier and that a shared car, through being used more effectively, takes the place of five privately owned cars and as many parking spaces.

Today’s conference at the Imperial Hotel on South Mall is part of European Mobility Week. The city’s highly successful Park and Ride at Black Ash will be free all this week. Black Ash is open to car drivers from 7.30am-7.30pm.

Irish Examiner

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