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London Councils gets behind data framework for car clubs


Mark Say Managing Editor


London Councils has taken part in highlighting the need for a data framework to support the operation of car clubs around the city.

Rear end view of line of cars

The association of the capital’s local authorities had published a report on the issue with the RAC Foundation and Imperial College London, calling for the take-up of the Car Club Local Authority Data Standard (CLADS).

It said this would help to fill gaps and correct inconsistencies in the data collected by car clubs and help them operate more effectively as part of an integrated transport infrastructure.

Car clubs have close to 250,000 members in London, enabling them to use vehicles as needed as an alternative to owning one.

CLADS is aimed at providing data sharing standards for all boroughs when it comes to understanding how car clubs work in London. It could enable boroughs to develop effective policies on car clubs with partners with the hope of improving services and increasing their use. 

The framework consists of one summary statistics file and four data files on user information, parking location, vehicle distribution and trip information. All are to be shared by car club operators on a quarterly basis.

The report includes technical details for a data sharing standard and highlights questions on issues such as ownership of the data and limitations on how far it should be shared. It says the answers to these are essential in drafting contracts between local authorities and car club operators.

Environmentally friendly choices

Mayor Philip Glanville, chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee, said: “Car clubs could play a vital part in reducing the need to own a car, freeing up London’s congested roads and pavements. This new framework is an essential foundation for learning more about the successes of car clubs and how we can better use them to reduce the total number of vehicles on the road, change how journeys are planned and encourage the use of greener vehicles across London.

“Boroughs are determined to help residents make more environmentally friendly choices. We would encourage people to think before using their cars for non-essential journeys and to consider walking, cycling or public transport instead.

“The only way we can achieve a greener future for London is to start making changes now. Improvements in data sharing and collaboration through the CLADS framework will help to make car clubs a better choice for growing numbers of Londoners.”


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