car2go criticised for taking up neighbours' spaces
A car sharing scheme which aims to give people who without cars the ability to drive around has had a negative reception from many in Sutton after they found white Smart Cars parked in their streets.
car2go launched in Sutton this week. The scheme has introduced 500 cars into three London boroughs - Sutton, Islington and Newham - which are available for subscribers to the scheme to pick up and drive for 35p per minute.
Cars can be used and then left in any council-owned or unregulated parking space including on street parking bays outside people's houses - something some neighbours have criticised.
Sue Stearman of Reading Road said: "These cars2go - they're everywhere. How is it going to work? They're putting them in people's residential streets where people pay for their parking. We have a parking permit but two cars are outside our house and they don't have parking permits in them."
Deborah Anderson, also of Reading Road, added: "Our household along with the other residents/car-owners of Reading Road have to pay for the privilege to park in our street which is a designated controlled parking zone.
"So imagine my frustration when I find five Smart Cars from car2go parked in the street - two have been stuck outside my house whilst we have had to park in a neighbouring road."
The scheme was launched on Tuesday. It has already been implemented in several European cities but London is the first city in the UK to get the cars. car2go customers subscribe to the service and get an app which tells them where their nearest car is and they swipe a card on the windscreen to activate it.
They can then use the cars as much as they like for 35p per minute. The cost includes fuel, insurance, road tax and parking. When drivers are finished they can leave the car in any legal, council-owned parking space in a participating borough.
Stefan Muller, chief executive of car2go, said: ""A lot of Londoners don’t need or want a car all the time but enjoy the freedom that driving brings. car2go gives the best of both worlds - the ability to go where you want, when you want - and in comfort - but without all the costs associated with owning, running and insuring a car full-time."
People can sign up for car2go for free until December 31 by visiting www.car2go.com/London.