· Carbon allowance, parking taxes and congestion charges being tabled
March 07, 2007, Zipcar, the world’s largest car club, has called for ministers and policy makers to consider alternatives to taxes as a means of controlling congestion in the capital. The move comes in the wake of The Environment Secretary, David Miliband’s reported call to consider applying carbon allowances to drivers.
Paul McLoughlin, general manager, Zipcar explained: ”The concept of a carbon allowance is fraught with problems, not least because it can end up being a tax for those who cannot afford a new vehicle. For the wealthy, buying carbon allowance can be another indulgence to add to the status of driving a gas-guzzler.”
Paul continues: “It is important that steps that are put in place to ease congestion and pollution problems are not perceived as being merely revenue generation opportunities. We have heard a great deal about steps such as congestion charging, parking increases, road tolls and now carbon allowances. The same focus needs to be given to positive solutions, such as car clubs, which have been proven to have a significant impact without taxing drivers.”
Zipcar, which has 85,000 members and 2,500 vehicles in cities around the world including London, provides cars for members to drive by the hour and includes congestion charge. Studies show that at scale each Zipcar takes 20 cars off the road, with average members reducing the amount of petrol they use by 219 gallons annually.
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With 85,000 consumer and business drivers, Zipcar is the world’s largest and fastest growing car sharing service. The company currently operates 2,500 vehicles in London and 13 states and provinces throughout the United States and Canada, including metropolitan New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Toronto and Washington.
Through its success to date, Zipcar has proven that large-scale car clubs can make a positive impact on urban lifestyle and environment. After joining the service, more than 40% of Zipcar members report selling their car or delaying a decision to purchase a new vehicle. Members also report driving less and walking and using public transportation more, saving an average of £250 compared to the average cost of owning and operating a car in the city. Zipcar also replaces older vehicles with newer cars that have more stringent pollution and emission control, helping to clean up air quality in local communities.
The launch of Zipcar into London and the European market follows three consecutive years of 100%+ growth for the company.
For more information, visit www.zipcar.com or for an interview with Paul Mcloughlin, call Kate Mills on 020 3043 4151.
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