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Poole awarded car club funding

Borough of Poole has been allocated £39,000 of Carplus funding to help launch a car club in the town.

Poole's successful bid for the car club funding focused on the use of electric cars and vans, meaning zero emissions and helping with Poole's commitment to reduce the town's carbon footprint. The project will launch with four electric vehicles and one hybrid vehicle. The vehicles will be based at exclusive car club parking bays at the Civic Centre and will be used by council staff during the day and car club members during the evening and weekend.

The car club project, which will be operated by an independent specialist car club partner, was praised for a number of innovations including accessing the cars by membership smartcards, meaning no keys will be required to use the vehicles. Also, once the scheme is up and running, the council will trial an innovative 'Travelmates' scheme, whereby groups of car club members will carshare and move vehicles between a day time business location and an evening and weekend residential location. This means that some of the cars can be located in other parts of the town, giving more Poole residents access to a car club car in their neighbourhood. The car club will add more vehicles as membership and usage grows.

Cllr Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: "It's great that the merit of our bid was recognised and Poole was awarded this important funding allowing us to progress our plans to launch a car club.

"In the current financial climate we need to look at how we can do things differently and still benefit Poole residents. By using car club vehicles rather than their own cars, our staff will be demonstrating that electric vehicles are a viable, zero emission, alternative to conventional cars and vans. Additionally, in the evenings and at weekends, residents who join the car club will be able to use the car club vehicles and have the benefits of using a car without having to own one.

"I'm also pleased that the electric vehicles based at the Civic Centre will use electricity generated by the recently installed solar panels which is a good example of our joined up energy thinking."

Preparations are now underway to launch the car club which it is hoped will start recruiting members in the new year.