The car club tipping point

March 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Fresh from our fantastic Festival of Ideas in Newcastle, Innovation Unit was at SDUK 11 on Thursday, a national sustainability event.  It was great to hear from David Mckay, DECC’s Chief Scientific Advisor, who showed off the Department’s new Pathway 2050 tool, which allows citizens to play with environmental policies – from energy to transport – to find their own pathway to emissions reductions.  The tool is impressive, but one questioner from the floor from a local authority observed that, in practice, very few of the policies were under local control.  Playing with the Pathway tool was great, he said, but what could local authorities most usefully do?  One of the first things Mckay highlighted was the work local authorities can do to initiate and support car clubs, both by using them and by regulating parking.

That’s a striking endorsement from an important figure.  Certainly, if London is anything to go by, commercial car clubs have already passed their tipping point.  And in Newcastle we heard from the very impressive Commonwheels, a non-profit looking to bring the benefits of car clubs to small towns and rural areas where there aren’t the margins to attract corporates.  Local authority commissioners were impressed by what they had to say – let’s hope champions like David Mckay can help to push car clubs past the tipping point right across the UK.

By John Craig

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Entry filed under: Green Next Practice, Uncategorized.

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