Make car ownership less desirable

As an experiment in central Bath the council replaces meter parking spaces with far more car club spaces.  It raises the price of resident on-street parking permits and uses the money to subsidise car club membership.  It provides a year's free membership to the first hundred city centre car owners who apply, reviews their experience and quantifies the financial benefit to them.  They tell other people and some decide they don't really need to own a car after all.

Why the contribution is important

Getting away from cars needs carrot as well as stick.  No matter how many cycle routes and improved pedestrian walkways are provided the psychological leap from car to no car is a huge one.  So thousands of seldom-used cars clog up Bath's streets.  If and when car owners experience car club membership as providing most of the advantages of onwership at lower cost they will give up ownership in gradually increasing numbers.

by stephen7675 on December 21, 2020 at 05:13PM

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  • Posted by PaulJ January 02, 2021 at 12:19

    A more radical suggestion would be a congestion charge or road pricing. Another would be to charge for all street parking in the centre. Car clubs seem to work best in urban centres, for one-off visits to the supermarket; or for occasional longer journeys. Bath has the advantage of being a small city, with most places easily reached on foot - as long as the weather is kind.
  • Posted by DavidOrme January 07, 2021 at 20:40

    Yes could this idea be entitled "Make Car Ownership in the City (/Cities) less desirable"? Whilst I don't decry this laudable idea, there are different dependencies in rural areas that would require a much more integrated, wider view of its credibility. There are far fewer alternative options open to rural residents.
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