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Portsmouth to procure car club

24 July 2020

Portsmouth City Council plans to procure a car club for launch next year. 

The city is not a stranger to the sharing model. Former operator City Car Club launched a scheme in Portsmouth in 2005 but withdrew in 2008, after which Commonwheels launched a small scheme with three cars. It subsequently withdrew because the operation was loss-making, says the council.

Enterprise Car Club currently has four vehicles at a site in Fratton, three at St Mary's Hospital for use by hospital staff, and four at Cosham with another employer. 

Tristan Samuels, Portsmouth’s director of regeneration, told councillors that employer use was likely to be vital to a council-backed scheme. “It is likely that, initially, business use of the car club would be more commercially viable than resident’s usage, as encouraging behaviour change for residents to consider getting rid of their private vehicle to use a car club vehicle is likely to take longer to achieve widespread take-up.” 

The council has £220,000 earmarked in its capital programme for a car club. “There is a possibility that the club may have ongoing revenue costs,” said Samuels. “The cost of this is as yet unknown and a full financial appraisal that sets out the impact and how it is to be funded will need to be undertaken prior to committing the council to any agreement.”

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