An informant has passed us a couple of links to PDF reports on the Aberdeen City Council website from which we can infer the institution of a bizarre anti-car-ownership policy by our council.
The texts refer to the setting up of a so-called "car club" in Aberdeen. Not only will the vehicles for this weird "car-sharing" (eh?) scheme sit dog-in-a-manger like on the street in parking spaces which should by rights be the preserve of proper motorists who own their own cars and pay road tax, but these "car club" motors will be made available to non-car owners! Indeed, it is expected that existing car owners who join "car club" will give up car ownership! Honestly! You couldn't make this stuff up!
From one of the council reports:
Broadly speaking, a car club is an organisation that owns or leases, and maintains, a fleet of cars from which its members can book a vehicle whenever they need it. The club pays for tax, insurance, servicing, cleaning and fuel, whereas members pay a joining fee and a subsequent fee for each journey made. 48 cities or towns in the UK (including London of course) currently operate successful car clubs. The concept has only failed once, in Liverpool, because of vandalism in poorly lit areas. Studies by Carplus, a national charity supporting responsible car use, have shown that 10% of car club members will give up owning a car or sell a second family car or defer owning a car in the first place. Typically, this results in ten vehicles slipping off the radar for each car club vehicle. The environmental benefits are evident, and individuals are encouraged to consider more closely whether they really need a car, or (more likely) whether they really need a second one.Clearly this plan is a “green” initiative – dreamed up by politicians and “urban intellectuals” – to reduce the number of cars in the city centre by trying to persuade people that they don’t need cars. Hahahahahaha!
From an urban realist’s perspective, this initiative will have little effect on city centre traffic which has become a problem as a result of poor planning: over the last 30+ years, developers have over-developed city centre sites by being allowed to “buyout” the lack of parking.
The motor car has been around for more than 100 years. It is quite unacceptable for the Council to be treating city centre residents and visitors as pariahs for daring to own cars. What these "urban intellectuals" fail to realise is that we urban realists represent the majority of people in Aberdeen who aspire to the convenience of personal motor transport, pay dearly for the privilege, provide much employment, contribute greatly in taxes, and then people like the "urban intellectuals" expect them to ‘leave the car at home’, while their money is spent creating cycle lanes and the like for freeloading cyclists, pavements and the like for freeloading pedestrians and parking bays and the like for freeloading car-club members.
For this reason car club will fail in Aberdeen.