This article was published in 2007, in Newsletter 74.
Proposals surface at last
The long-awaited, and in our view very welcome, car club proposals have at last surfaced. However, they are at present rather limited, with only six car parking spaces to be allocated to car club cars – four in main city council car parks and just two bays in a couple of streets in Romsey.
We welcome the overall car club proposals and our hope is that this scheme will prove popular and be expanded in future.
Residents would be the biggest winners. Many people currently need to own cars for occasional use (perhaps a big shop at weekends or a holiday trip) but otherwise leave their car parked in the street for most of the week.
Under the proposals, they could sell their car, join the car club scheme, and pay an hourly rate for the use of a car club car.
The on-street space their own car used to take up could be freed up for better uses.
The space could be given over to cycle parking in places like Romsey which are so totally car-dominated, yet which have barely any cycle parking at all and whose pavements are usually covered in cars, to the detriment of pedestrians.
The County Council’s draft new on-street parking policy guidance says ‘the provision of cycle parking should form part of all parking proposals,’ a policy we have long lobbied for. It is disappointing then that the first Traffic Regulation Order fails to include cycle parking as part of the car club proposals. There is very definitely room next to the car club space in Cockburn Street, and a bike was left nearby insecurely when our photograph was taken.