Councils and enterprise partnerships are being urged to gear up for the next round of government funding to help set up car clubs in Fenland.
Car clubs offer people the chance to hire pay-as-you-go cars, and the Department for Transport is offering organisations a slice of £500,000 to help set them up when the second round of funding opens for bids in January.
Applications for the money can be made by local authorities, local enterprise partnerships or other interested bodies to develop new car clubs or expand an existing one.
Car clubs offer people the chance to use a car at an hourly rate, starting from just £5. The driver books the car online or by phone and then collects the vehicle from a designated parking bay in their neighbourhood by swiping a smart card and getting the keys from the car.
Bookings can be made at a few minutes’ notice so it is ideal for non-car owners who need a vehicle in an emergency.
Local authorities have until January 16 next year to submit an expression of interest with Carplus, the body responsible managing the funding. Short-listed schemes will then have until February 16 to make a detailed application.
Fenland MP Steve Barclay is urging local authorities to get their bids ready.
He said: “Transport is a real issue in our area and not everyone has access to a car. A car club offers an opportunity for people to have access to a vehicle whenever they need one at low cost, without having the expense of buying and running a car of their own. I hope local authorities and other interested bodies will take this opportunity and bid for funding to set up schemes in this area.”