LYME Regis residents, businesses and organisations are being asked for their views on establishing a community-led electric car club via a short online survey.
The survey is being promoted by the One Planet Working Group and the Lyme Regis Development Trust with support of Lyme Regis Town Council.
The Lyme Regis Car Club would give affordable access to electric cars for everyone whilst also supporting the shift to zero carbon transport.
Since the announcement of the government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, interest in electric cars has surged by 500%.
However, they remain too expensive for many people and one third of households cannot charge a car at home.
An electric car club would address these challenges by locating cars across the district, bookable from as little as half an hour for one all-inclusive price. This would give members access to electric cars without having to own one.
Furthermore, by switching to using an electric car club and getting rid of little-used personal vehicles, members could save money whilst also helping to reduce the area’s congestion, parking and pollution problems.
The online survey also asks if respondents would be interested in an electric bike share scheme. Because they are electrically assisted, the bikes are a great alternative to the car for many shorter trips, including commuting, everyday errands and leisure trips.
Lyme Regis town councillor and Green Party member Belinda Bawden said: “Lyme Regis Town Council, Dorset Council and the UK government have all recognised that we are facing a climate and ecological crisis and have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by converting to cleaner, renewable and more sustainable methods of transport by 2030.
“A car club and electric bike rental hubs here in Lyme could start to change how we get around and begin to reduce the number of cars clogging up our streets while encouraging more people to try electric modes of travel in an affordable way.
“The ‘Future Town’ community engagement project with the Royal College of Art demonstrates our residents’ desire for ‘a chance to reform our transport links, removing the mass summer traffic that flows through town… to develop an affordable and aspirational public transport network’.
“I hope the Lyme Regis Car Club trial will prove a success for residents, businesses and visitors alike and that the survey shows an appetite to try electric bike rental as we develop our options towards a low carbon future.”
The survey is available online at http://bit.ly/LymeRegisEV and is open until Tuesday, April 6.
The results of the survey will not only help establish the viability of the project but will also be shared with the Lyme Regis Town Council and the development trust to assist their planning.
The survey is being run in partnership with Co Cars car club, a social enterprise that has an established network of low and zero emission cars across the South West. The company also runs the Co Bikes electric bike sharing scheme.
Mark Hodgson, Managing Director of Co Cars, said: “Over the last 12 months, we have seen a huge surge of interest in our shared, electric cars and bikes from communities across the region.
“We’re really excited to see if we can bring them to Lyme Regis as they would give people access to the latest technology at an affordable price, helping them save money and hassle when compared to owning a car.”