Norwich’s pay-as-you-drive car club wants to treble number of vehicles
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
A pay-as-you drive car club today unveils ambitious plans to significantly increase its presence in the city.
The Norfolk Car Club, which was established in 2009 with just two cars, is seeking permission from Norwich City Council for a huge increase in the number of locations where cars can be collected and dropped off.
It wants more than 130 new parking bays to be created, and the number of vehicles for hire trebled. There are currently 37 cars with bays around Norwich, but the club is eyeing an expansion over the next two years which would mean it has 120 cars.
A £30,000 grant from the Department for Transport meant the not-for-profit club, added 30 new cars last year, with a goal to launch another 40 this year and 40 more in 2017.
At a meeting of Norwich highways agency committee, made up of city and county councillors, this week, the club will ask members to agree to consult with the public over scores more spaces.
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Rex Warner, founder of the car club, said: 'The vision is to be across the whole of the city. We currently have 37 cars in Norwich, but we would like to have something like 110 or 120.
'That would put us on a par with Brighton, which has a commercial car club. Brighton is a similar size to Norwich, in terms of the people living and working here, so we think the demand is there.
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'We have run out of bays in the city. If we are to have 120 cars then we will need new spaces.'
The last time new bays were put forward, about half of them ended up not being put in because of objections, so an 'excess' of new locations have been proposed.
Mr Warner said the car club now has 700 members - gaining 30 new members in just a week earlier this month. He said the youngest member is 19 and the oldest is 78, while a growing number of businesses are now using the cars.
If the committee agree, then the proposed bays will be put out for consultation. If there are objections, then those would be considered by councillors in the summer.
Wherever possible, locations have been sought to avoid the loss of existing on street parking spaces.
The bays will only be made available if the car club secures funding for new vehicles and the city council will only allow the bays to be brought into use in phases, so they are not installed and then left empty.
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