Drivers in the town now have cheaper motoring available to them, thanks to an innovative scheme that was officially launched on 1 February to promote sustainable travel.
Co-wheels, in partnership with Swindon Travel Choices, operate “pay as you go” car club cars, operated using a smart card, and have state of the art telematics fitted.
Members simply book the car on line at www.co-wheels.org.uk, arrive at the time of the booking, use their smart card to access the vehicles and drive off!
There are car club cars in Old Town (Prospect Place), on Wellington St (outside the station) and on Princes Street, as well as at Howse Gardens on Northern Road.
Aimed at individuals and organisations, the Car Club hopes to supress the amount of traffic in the town centre by reducing car ownership, thus cutting congestion and pollution. For individuals, the cars could enable families with 2 cars to sell one of them, or they may help households without access to a car to get around cheaply, conveniently and quickly.
Organisations can treat the Car Club cars as inexpensive pool cars. This enables staff to take public transport or cycle to work, as they can use the Car Club cars for business trips. This reduces costs, reduces the need for parking spaces, and reduces congestion and pollution.
Matt Whitney of Co-wheels said “We have cars in Surrey, Gloucester, Oxford and many other locations across the country. As a social enterprise we are ‘not for profit’, and, with Swindon Borough Council, we aim to promote sustainable travel.
“If you drive fewer than 8,000 miles a year, being a member of a Car Club will save you money. For the month of February we are offering free membership and £20 free driving credit so you can find out what it’s all about without any commitment.”
Pictured top, Swindon Council leader Rod Bluh in a car club vehicle. Below, Matt Whitney of Co-wheels demonstration how to activate the vehicle. Images: Richard Wintle www.calyxpix.com