Unpopular car2go scheme leaves Sutton

Sutton Guardian: Two car2go vehicles take up neighbours' spaces in Christchurch Park in 2012 Two car2go vehicles take up neighbours' spaces in Christchurch Park in 2012

An unpopular scheme which flooded the borough's parking spaces with Smart cars has withdrawn from Sutton.

Car hire scheme car2go launched in Sutton by parking bright white and blue Smart cars in public parking spaces and car parks around the borough in December 2012.

Sutton Guardian: Councillr Tony Shields saw this car2go being ticketed

A car2go vehicle is given a ticket

The cars were immediately unpopular as the scheme failed to take off meaning many of the cars sat idle taking up parking spots for weeks on end.

Some of them were even given tickets after the scheme's organisers put them in people's allocated bays by mistake.

car2go has now withdrawn the scheme from Sutton after it failed to generate enough interest from members of the public.

The company has not responded to a request for a comment but Sutton Council said the scheme stopped in December 2013.

Sutton Guardian:

Three car2go vehicles parked within yards of each other (picture: Councillor Tony Shields)

The scheme was supposed to work by allowing people to use the cars on a pay-as-you-go basis in any public parking space in the home areas.

They were also active in Islington and Newham boroughs and used by members of the scheme who got access via a pre-paid swipe card. The cars could then be used for the paid-for time and then parked back in the home area.

Sutton Council gave permission for the car2go to operate in Sutton and it later launched in Merton but has now been scaled back so the cars are only available in Islington.

Councillor Tony Shields said: "The scheme was very clumsy in its introduction which caused a lot of resentment in local streets but it is just another entry on the council failed project list.

"The costs will be considerable in promotion and staff costs but residents will be expected to conveniently forget this latest shambles as usual."


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Comments (7)

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11:22am Wed 29 Jan 14

Simon Densley says...

The Lib Dems probably expected residents to all gratefully sell their cars as soon as this was rolled out. Perhaps a test area would have been a good idea to start with to see whether people really wanted change their lifestyle first. Tired old Lib Dems reverting to type.
The Lib Dems probably expected residents to all gratefully sell their cars as soon as this was rolled out. Perhaps a test area would have been a good idea to start with to see whether people really wanted change their lifestyle first. Tired old Lib Dems reverting to type. Simon Densley

11:39am Wed 29 Jan 14

Mr Flange of Wallington says...

So who exactly is picking up the cost of this failed scheme? Council tax payers? Answers, please Guardian or LBS.
So who exactly is picking up the cost of this failed scheme? Council tax payers? Answers, please Guardian or LBS. Mr Flange of Wallington

3:20pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Nichu44 says...

I think the scheme would be far more successful in Islington where car ownership is much lower. I signed up but never used it - as a non car user I tend to walk or use public transport for short journeys as it's easier and cheaper. The costs were calculated per minute, which would probably cost me about £10 to get to the end of my road! I agree that the scheme should have been tested first.
It takes a lot to get people out of their cars. But as this scheme failed to even attract a sitting duck like me, this is certainly not the answer.
I think the scheme would be far more successful in Islington where car ownership is much lower. I signed up but never used it - as a non car user I tend to walk or use public transport for short journeys as it's easier and cheaper. The costs were calculated per minute, which would probably cost me about £10 to get to the end of my road! I agree that the scheme should have been tested first. It takes a lot to get people out of their cars. But as this scheme failed to even attract a sitting duck like me, this is certainly not the answer. Nichu44

7:05pm Wed 29 Jan 14

D Hoole says...

I wasn't impressed when they drove one car down Sutton High Street at about 10.30 on a Saturday to park and promote it - too late starting, with too many pedestrians to endanger. Another Saturday about the same time, the car was parked there but no staff promoting it!
I wasn't impressed when they drove one car down Sutton High Street at about 10.30 on a Saturday to park and promote it - too late starting, with too many pedestrians to endanger. Another Saturday about the same time, the car was parked there but no staff promoting it! D Hoole

8:06pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Michael Pantlin says...

Another LibDem council bright idea triumph.
Another LibDem council bright idea triumph. Michael Pantlin

6:54pm Thu 30 Jan 14

philmck says...

Seemed like a good idea to me - we signed up and sold our second car, thus freeing up a parking space in the street. Now we have no service and no refund. :-(

I used it a couple of times, but the problem was the small area covered. If you went outside the Sutton area you had to pay £15/hour while it was parked, too expensive. It would have worked if you could pick up and drop off anywhere.

Zipcar is still running, but the pick up points are too far from us - none in Carshalton.
Seemed like a good idea to me - we signed up and sold our second car, thus freeing up a parking space in the street. Now we have no service and no refund. :-( I used it a couple of times, but the problem was the small area covered. If you went outside the Sutton area you had to pay £15/hour while it was parked, too expensive. It would have worked if you could pick up and drop off anywhere. Zipcar is still running, but the pick up points are too far from us - none in Carshalton. philmck

4:37pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Sutton Council says...

In reference to the question about cost, this pilot car hire scheme was entirely funded by the company car2go at no cost to the taxpayers of Sutton. In addition, all parking fines incurred by Cars2Go have been paid in full.
In reference to the question about cost, this pilot car hire scheme was entirely funded by the company car2go at no cost to the taxpayers of Sutton. In addition, all parking fines incurred by Cars2Go have been paid in full. Sutton Council

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