Smart Transport

Authorities 'must do more to promote shared transport', says national charity

Richard Dilks of CoMoUK

Local authorities in England are being urged to introduce incentives to encourage people to ditch private vehicles and use shared transport as an alternative.

Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), the national charity for the public benefit of shared transport such as car and e-bike share schemes, says people could be offered ‘mobility credits’ for choosing alternative modes of travel like car clubs and bike hire schemes. 

In its manifesto for English local authorities ahead of May’s local government elections, CoMoUK said councils must do more to support shared transport schemes.

CoMoUK said the decarbonisation of transport requires ‘unprecedented action’ and says shared transport like car clubs and bike share schemes can contribute directly to cleaner air and better health by their proven ability to “cut people’s mileage, get them to sell and not replace private cars and boost their public transport use and health”.

It adds that membership of UK car clubs now stands at nearly 800,000 members – a 24% increase on the previous year – and nearly 42,000 trips are made using bike share schemes every day.

However, CoMoUK warns shared transport remains “frequently underrepresented” in the transport strategies and delivery plans of local authorities. Further support is needed if the full benefits that sustainable transport can offer are to be achieved, it says.

Chief executive Richard Dilks says: “Shared transport schemes are already doing heavy lifting on decarbonisation but can go much further with greater support and should be employed right across England.

“They provide an alternative to car ownership, and, together with public and active transport, shared transport reduces greenhouse gas emissions, poor air quality and congestion.”

Dilks adds: “The local government elections in May present an opportunity for shared transport to be built into the future travel policies of every local authority in England.

“Currently, shared transport remains underrepresented in the transport strategies and delivery plans of English local authorities. We believe further support is needed if the full benefits that sustainable transport can offer are to be achieved.”
Shared transport: key actions required

CoMoUK’s call for incentives for those who give up private cars is among 12 key actions the charity wants councils in England to support to help develop shared transport.

These include:

  • Establishing transport policies with indicators to measure progress and goals for reducing individual ownership.
  • Investing a percentage of revenue from Workplace Parking Levy schemes in shared transport, and incorporating shared transport in the design of low emission zones.
  • Incentivising the transition to electric vehicles by offering reduced permit fees for electric car club vehicles.
  • Open access charging networks for car club and bike share operators.
  • Parking provision in new housing developments to be limited to one private car per property or less and for councils to support the development of mobility hubs.

CoMoUK also urges local authorities to establish a “best practice” by using pool vehicles and prioritising at least 5% of spaces in car parks over 30 spaces for shared vehicle use.

Read CoMoUK's Shared Transport for England manifesto

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