Bute car club scheme to become social enterprise

The Car Bute project is to be developed into a social enterprise following a successful pilot scheme.
The Car Bute project is to be developed into a social enterprise following a successful pilot scheme.

CAR Bute, Scotland’s only island-based community car club, is to be developed into a sustainable social enterprise following a successful pilot which confirmed the need for the facility.

The scheme has attracted more than 20 members since a six-month trial began last October, and the project’s two Ford Fusion diesel cars are now regularly used for journeys to mid Argyll and Glasgow as well as trips within Bute itself.

Project worker Caroline Speirs is also canvassing public support for the idea of having a Car Bute vehicle based at Wemyss Bay to make it easier for island residents to gain access to services in the Inverclyde area and beyond.

Writing in her latest Car Bute blog entry, Caroline said: “We are working with members of the local community, community groups and businesses small and large, about becoming members of the club and increasing usage.

“We just really need to spread the word about how the car club works, how easy it is to use, and how reasonable the rates are.”

Meanwhile, more than nine out of ten people believe Bute should be a more attractive place for pedestrians and cyclists than at present, according to the results of a survey carried out by Car Bute’s parent organisation, Towards Zero Carbon Bute.

Of the 174 people who responded to the survey on barriers to reducing Bute’s carbon footprint, 96.6 per cent of online respondents and 92 per cent of paper replies agreed that Bute should be more pedestrian and cycle friendly.

Around two-thirds agreed with the view that existing traffic management arrangements are making Rothesay dominated and congested by traffic, although only half said that pedestrian-only areas would encourage them to walk or cycle more.

Presented with a variety of options aimed at encouraging people to walk or use a bike more than at present, the top answer was the introduction of safe cycle lanes or dedicated paths or other routes, favoured by 78.6 per cent of online respondents and 67.7 per cent of those who completed hard copies of the survey.

A survey of attitudes towards reducing the cost of hard-to-heat homes found the biggest barrier to reducing energy use to be the fact that respondents’ homes cannot be insulated.