Car share scheme gets funding boost from council

A popular car share scheme has been given a funding boost of more than £100k 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 as well as to help 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 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.

As well as this, the money will fund the set-up of an online booking system, as well as 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.

As well as this, the scheme 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. Get in touch and help us set up a satellite Car share club in your area. We need to move quickly as the grant is time limited."

Cllr 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. Not only that, with less cars on the road, this will help reduce carbon emissions in the district. As a council, we have a commitment to support Community Transport initiatives."

Find out more about the Malvern Hills Community Car Club.

Pictured: Robin Coates, Co-founder of Malvern Hills Community Car Club, and Cllr Daniel Walton, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Tourism at Malvern Hills District Council.
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