Are Locals in Chiswick Dumping Their Motors For Car Club?

Demand now outstripping supply and more car park bays needed


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Local residents in Chiswick appear to be thinking twice about having a car and are turning increasingly to car clubs instead.

The Zipcar rental scheme is so popular in Chiswick that demand is outstripping supply and more parking bays are needed in residential areas.

Zipcar has the franchise for running the carclub in the borough and says the scheme is growing in popularity in W4. Of 1680 Zipcar rmembers in Hounslow, over half - 812- live in Chiswick. It has a car to member ratio of 81, that's 30 per cent higher than elsewhere in the borough.

The figures also show that daily usage for the ten vehicles in Chiswick is 11 hours per day with the vehicles utilised 30 per cent of the time- that's higher than most places in London.

The issue of needing extra car park spaces in Chiswick came up for discussion at last week's meeting of the Chiswick Area Forum which was attended by the Traffic Officer for Hounslow Council. According to a report from the Mayor's office, every car club vehicle results in eight private motors being sold, although Zipcar ( which is an international company) maintains the figure is higher than that on a worldwide basis.

The Council official told the meeting that there was now more demand for spaces in Chiswick to park the cars owned by the car-club as demand was outstripping supply. The scheme runs on a membership basis, where people can are given a 'smart card' that allows them access to a vehicle in a designated parking area- sometimes for as short a time as an hour or two.

There are 24 clubs operating in sixteen locations in the borough of Hounslow

Hounslow Council has suggested designating three car club bays in Oxford Road south, Duke Road and Grosvenor Road. Over 400 letters were sent out to residents to consult on the proposed scheme, but while over 80 per cent of locals in Duke Road and Oxford Road south welcomed the new parking bays, those in Grosvenor Road did not.

They feared it would create extra parking pressure in the area which they said was already experiencing congestion from a local gym, the Porsche garage and the Smoke House restaurant.

Currently car club parking exists for two vehicles in Sutton Court Road, two in Netheravon Road, two at Chiswick Common, two at Chiswick park and two at private locations. Zipcar have operated and run service across Hounslow borough since 2014.

Hounslow Council said TfL would take on the cost of the parking scheme and the extra bays could be ready by the end of November 2015.

Councillors at the Chiswick Area Forum decided that given the opposition of Grosvenor Road residents, an alternative location in Chiswick should be sought by the Council. They noted and approved the results of the consultation regarding the bays at the other two Chiswick locations.

July 23, 2015

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