Car clubs help improve London air

March 18th, 2012 by Carplus

Car Clubs make a considerable contribution to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions in London, according to new independent research published by the Transport Research Laboratory.

Building on studies done for each of the last three years, TRL have reaffirmed the positive effect of Car Clubs, as Londoners are shown again to be selling private cars, or deferring purchase, and joining a Car Club.

In addition, TRL provide evidence of the previously under‐ acknowledged contribution of Car Clubs to improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions in London. Significantly, the research indicates that the average Car Club member in London saves one tonne of carbon, annually.

According to The emission impacts of car clubs in London report, this positive contribution is based on two key factors.

The first is the use of greener vehicles with Car Clubs releasing 50% fewer emissions than the average car.

The second is the result of Car Club members changing their behaviour, and travelling 50% less by car in favour of using more sustainable forms of transport.

In all cases, average household emissions from transport were found to fall significantly after joining the Car Club and represent a fraction of the average emissions of London licence‐ holders. The TRL research reveals that emissions of CO2, NOx and PM10 from car use by established London Car Club members are less than half of those for car use by London Car Club joiner households or by London license holder households.

The research, conducted by TRL on behalf of Carplus and Transport for London, is based on analysis of the London results from the Carplus Annual Survey of Car Club Members 2010/11, which asks both members and recent joiners about their travel behaviour and changes in car ownership and use.

Chas Ball, Carplus CEO, commented “in light of recent concerns surrounding air quality, this new evidence which builds on previous research, demonstrates that Car Clubs are an affordable measure to help achieve wider air quality and carbon reduction targets.”

Dr Sally Cairns, a Senior Research Fellow at TRL and UCL, said “overall, about 30% of London respondents report reducing their household car ownership after joining a Car Club, and about 30% (including a proportion of those who dispose of a car) report that they would otherwise have purchased a vehicle.”

Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Planning at Transport for London, said that “transport for London continue to support the use of Car Clubs in the capital as a greener alternative to using a private car. This research strongly endorses why TfL supports car clubs as a valuable means in helping us reduce CO2 emissions and improving London’s air quality”.

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