The funding will help to make more efficient use of the road and reduce transport related carbon emissions through support for two pilot car sharing programmes. Pay-as-you-go car use encourages people to walk and cycle and make use of public transport.

Baroness Kramer said: “Car clubs cut congestion, reduce carbon and save people money while still giving people the freedom and flexibility to use a car when they want to. Interest in car clubs is already gathering pace and we want to give that interest added momentum.

“This funding will highlight their many advantages to even more people and help take car clubs up a gear.”

The proportion of carless households has been growing since 2005 and there are already more than 150,000 car club members in England and the government is keen to see numbers grow.

Sharing economy

Car clubs have both economic and environmental benefits, saving drivers thousands of pounds per year and helping to take cars off the road, with one car club rental taking the place of as many as 17 individually-owned vehicles, according to the Department for Transport. Car club vehicles have also been found to have lower emissions than the average car.

The Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund is currently funding 48 car club and car sharing schemes.

Making the announcement during a visit to Norfolk, Baroness Kramer also visited Zenos Cars which has received £150,000 of Government funding towards the development of an ultra-light sports car, with the technology hoped to inform future development of electric cars and low-emission vehicles.

Baroness Kramer also reviewed the progress of a government-funded trial of the holdall smartcard scheme. The £2.5m scheme aims to allow people to use Norfolk’s bus services with a single card.

Last year, a study by car sharing company Zipcar estimated that sharing goods and services could generate savings of £531 per person. It found that car sharing was a far more cost-effective alternative to car ownership as part of a growing ‘sharing economy’.

Matt Field

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