Members of the Transport group of TTL conducted a feasibility study for a car club for Lewes District Council. The results were so encouraging that LDC, with Transition Town Lewes’s support, decided to work with Common Wheels to establish a car club for Lewes.

Project launch: July 2010
Contact: Ian Eiolart
Website: www.commonwheels.org.uk

A few of the members of the Transport group had been attending the Think Air campaign of Lewes District Council, which had been formed to address illegally high levels of NO2 emissions in Station Street. This inclusive campaign allowed us to suggest creative ways to tackle the issue, and we were commissioned to write, as consultants, a feasibility study for a car club in Lewes. The study interviewed residents, businesses and the councils locally, and ascertained that there was a high demand for a car club, particularly from residents in the middle of town, who were being affected by the parking restrictions. 93% of the 120 respondents said they would prefer to use a local car club if services were comparable with 58% saying they would definitely and 28% would probably like to join a Lewes car club.

We also found that in other built-up towns some councils were requiring developers to instigate or financially support a car club instead of car parking spaces.

TTL also identified a possible partner for the car club instead of inviting a national car club chain in to town. Common Wheels is a community interest company who had just started working with councils to help them install car clubs.

The Lewes car club was launched in July 2010. The marked cars are parked in Pinwell Lane, near the station, and in North St car park (?) Council officers get priority booking of one of the cars during week days and that car and a second car are available to the public for booking at other times.

One of our members, who is a councillor on the planning department of Lewes District Council, has told us that the council will require all new developments to contribute towards the purchase of new cars which will help the car club to expand.