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Issue 296 – Frome Car Club awarded £500 grant

Frome Car Club has been awarded a £500 grant from Sustainable Frome.
Sustainable Frome invited applications in January from environmental and sustainable groups which were involved in the community. Seven strong applications were received and after long deliberation, the group decided to give the £500 to the car club.
Alex Hart, from Sustainable Frome said, “Our reasons for choosing the car club are essentially that we feel it has the potential for having the biggest impact on the most people, while encouraging more people to think twice about their car usage, ultimately enabling them to cut their carbon footprint.”
Another worthy applicant for the grant was “Knit and Natter” who meet at the Blue House every Tuesday afternoon between 1.00pm and 3.30 pm – anyone interested is welcome to drop in.
Another group is the Stoke-St-Michael allotment association which was founded by Becky Alexander, and who plan to have a communal meeting area and children’s play area. They can be contacted by phoning Shanna Dancy on 01749 840724
The car club was set up with the aim of reducing the number of car journeys in Frome. A car club offers pay- as-you-go driving as an alternative to owning a first or second car. A car club also begins to get people into the mode of thinking and working as a community (communicating with others, compromising where necessary, sharing cars where possible).
For most people, it is too big a step to give up car use completely, as some journeys are still impossible without a car. This provides a half-way measure between letting go of a car and slowly moving over to using public transport, walking or cycling for more journeys.
Car clubs reduce carbon emissions because pay-as-you go-driving makes members think about each journey they make and consider whether they really need to use a car, especially for short journeys which are the most polluting.
Barbara Morgan, the car-club co-ordinator explained, “We are using my car for the car club as an interim measure, and the effect of that on me personally has been very interesting.
“It means I have not always been able to use my car spontaneously and the overall effect is that I have thought much more carefully about each journey I make and many times have seen that it is not that difficult to find alternatives, so my personal car usage has substantially reduced. “
The car club has also received a grant from the Co-op, which means that together with the grant from Sustainable Frome , they will be able to purchase a second car and put some money into advertising.
Membership is £5 per month, and the charges are £2 per hour Monday to Friday and £3 per hour at weekends, plus 18p per mile with an upper limit of £18 per 24 hours on weekdays and £24 at weekends. This includes petrol.
Calculations have been done and it is estimated that the saving for an individual user over a year would be a minimum of £600 based on an average size car and average mileage. Those who currently drive 8,000 miles or less a year, or who could replace a second car with car club membership, would save the most.
The car can be booked over the internet or phone and is accessible at any time of the day or night. The driver also has none of the hassle or responsibility of having to deal with repairs and maintenance for the car, and insurance and breakdown cover is covered by the umbrella company, Wombat car club.
If you want to become a member, ring Justin from Wombat Car Club on 07727 892784 . He takes your necessary details and registers you. Then contact Barbara on 07966 755509 who will ask you to sign a declaration form agreeing to the terms and conditions, show you where the car is and help you with any queries you may have about using the car.
The more people who use it, the cheaper it becomes for members. You can also find out more via the website at www.

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