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People living in selected areas of Portsmouth could soon have easy access to a low-emission or electric car whenever they need it, without having to buy one, if proposals for a car club are approved.

A report going to Portsmouth city council’s traffic and transportation decision meeting next week recommends launching a car club in the city, in a move that supports the council’s commitment to tackling air pollution by reducing the amount of polluting cars on the road.

A recent survey showed that there was demand for a car club in Portsmouth with over half of the respondents to the residents survey who do not currently belong to a car club saying they would consider joining straight away, and a further quarter of respondents saying they would consider joining in the future. Almost half (44 per cent) of respondents who would consider joining a car club at present and have a car registered to their address would consider getting rid of their vehicle. This increases to 50 per cent of those with two or more vehicles registered to their address and 51 per cent of those aged 45-54 years.

Based on this positive feedback the report recommends launching a car club as soon as this summer. The locations of vehicles, and the number of cars available, would require careful consideration as part of the next phase of work if it was to go ahead.

Car clubs have been found to give people easy access to a shared low-emission vehicle when it is needed, meaning people could get rid of their second car and save money. Residents would be able to subscribe to the club and rent a car at their convenience, which could lead to fewer cars being parked on Portsmouth streets if the trial was approved.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: “I look forward to discussing the potential of a car club trial in Portsmouth and I am keen to read the feedback in the report that was collected from local residents recently to help inform our decision at my traffic and transportation meeting.”

If the recommendation is approved at the traffic and transportation decision meeting on 27 January, the council will be looking to find a supplier for the car club with a plan to launch the scheme in the summer.