The use of a car club to replace ‘pool’ cars for council travel is saving on vehicle purchase, repairs maintenance and tax as well as being a convenient and low carbon alternative for providing services.
Brighton & Hove City Council staff have access to a network of 50 car club cars right across the city, provided by City Car Club, which they can book on demand when on council business.
Located in reserved on-street parking bays, the self-service cars can be booked online or by phone and accessed 24/7 by swiping a membership card on the windscreen. Many of the cars are located directly outside council offices. It has reduced the need for pool cars, and so far nine have been ditched.
Almost 300 council staff from several departments are now signed up to the car club for work travel, and many more staff are joining each month. Next month, the car club will be adding two ultra-low emitting Toyota Prius hybrid cars to the fleet for council use. The plan is to add more of these vehicles to the fleet in future.
Luke Taylor, private sector development officer with the council, said, "It works well for me because my job takes me all around the city and the car club is often the most convenient way to travel."
As well as the council use of the car club, many local residents and businesses are also members. In total City Car Club has almost 2,000 members in Brighton and Hove . Across the UK the company has approaching 20,000 members and a fleet of 550 cars and vans.
Councillor Trevor Alford , cabinet member for central services, said, "Brighton & Hove City Council makes use of the City Car Club because it is a simple and more sustainable alternative for business travel for our staff. Not only are the vehicles conveniently located they are also available when our staff need them most. Nearly 300 council employees are registered to use the service and it has been instrumental in encouraging staff to ditch their pool cars."
As well as the cars, the car club has also provided a unique hourly van hire service with two vans on hand at council buildings for staff to make deliveries, transport equipment and pick up items.
Chris Seigal, City Car Club’s Brighton Manager, said, "Brighton & Hove City Council has had a long-standing and successful partnership with City Car Club. As a large employer, the council is leading the way in providing convenient, cost-effective and sustainable transport for staff. The car club really works for them and this can be seen by the increasing popularity of the scheme."
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