Eight years ago last week – international car free day as it happens – a bunch of residents, councillors and vehicles gathered in the Hanover Centre Garden to launch the first ‘by the hour’ Car Club vehicle in Brighton & Hove.
The first car was based on Queens Park Road at a temporary off road bay, and the first ‘on street’ car club bays turned up in October of 2003 – on Windmill St, close to the home of the first member, in Whichelo Place and on Islingword Road.
At that time the idea of Car Clubs was a very new one, with only a handfull of operations across the UK. The Brighton & Hove initiative was launched thanks to funding suport from the Hanover Community Association sustainable travel project, and quickly embedded into Hanover, becoming the fasted growing car club in the country at that time.
The service is still going strong: from 1 car in Hanover in 2003 to the current tally of 58 vehicles citywide. Hanover and Elm Grove is still well served with 9 cars inside the ward boundary and others in easy reach.
As well as helping residents to better met their transport needs, a real benefit of this service is the potential to reduce private car ownershop locally. A real pleasure of using the sevice comes with not having to cruise the streets for a parking space and the liberation of knowing that when you log off at the end of a trip, the car and all that goes with it can be shrugged off and forgotten until next time you want one. All of the cars in Hanover are operated by City Car Club.