Friday, 19 August 2022

'Pay as you go' car share scheme could be launched by next spring

A CAR club could be launched in Henley as soon as April next year.

The scheme is where a group of people arrange to share a car or several cars to reduce air pollution and ease congestion in the town.

Henley Town Council’s transport strategy group hopes people in the town centre will sign up to the “pay as you go” initiative which will save users money and free up public parking spaces.

They would be able to book to use the vehicles for as many hours as they need it, either online or by phone.

They would then pick the car up and drop it off at a dedicated space.

Dave McEwen, a member of Henley in Transition, who is on the committee, is driving the scheme.

He has met with providers Co-Wheels, Enterprise and E-Car, owned by Europcar. Each will submit a report with proposals for how the scheme would run in the town.

Speaking at a transport strategy group meeting Mr McEwen said: “It looks likely they would provide three or four cars as the starting number and we would see what the interest is in those.

“There would be a joining fee, an hourly rate and an insurance excess. Initially we would like to see a balance between electric and hybrid cars.”

The town council will now go to South Oxfordshire District Council to see if it would provide spaces in its car parks and Oxfordshire County Council to see if it could provide on-street parking for the scheme.

Mr McEwen will also talk to businesses and housing developers to see if they wanted to be involved.

He said: “We need to flag up that this is coming and find out whether they would want to be involved. We’re not necessarily looking for sponsorship but people who say they can make use of it.

“The problems come with making the right number of cars available because you don’t want them sitting doing nothing and you don’t want people frustrated because they are not available.”

Mr McEwen said a similar scheme had been running in Lewes, in East Sussex, for the last six years and the scheme had six shared cars.

⚫ Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the sports hall at Shiplake College to save money and reduce its carbon footprint.

The 160 cells will generate about £7,000 worth of energy per year and will power the building directly.

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