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Last month a group of Kings Heath residents, with the help of the council and the BBC, held a Clean Air Day. Kings Heath suffers from a worrying level of air pollution, mainly caused by traffic on the high street. At least 900 people die of air pollution in Birmingham every year. It is a public health emergency and the government has repeatedly failed to act.
The BBC programme Fighting for Air is an inspirational watch, showing what can happen when local people come together. Suspending parking bays and timing the traffic lights differently allowed the traffic to flow more smoothly, reducing the NOx level by an amazing 20%. The programme illustrated how stop-start traffic and fast accelaration cause more pollution; steady driving makes a really big positive difference. And far from being a safe cocoon from the polluted air, the car is the worst place to be for poor air quality. You’re much better off walking.
Children are most affected by traffic pollution. Known consequences include permamently damaged and underdeveloped lungs and even cognitive effects. At a local school, children discouraged parents from driving to school on the Clean Air Day, resulting in an incredible 30% reduction in particulate matter.
While we wait for the government to act we can all make a difference. Drive less, Drive smarter.

 

Watch the programme on BBC iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09m2djj
Birmingham City Council air pollution graphic: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20076/pollution/1278/air_pollution_affecting_me_and_my_family

BetterPoints: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50122/cycling_in_birmingham/1494/winter_cycling_challenge

pollution

From Friday 15th of September Co-Wheels will be increasing the hourly booking rates by 25p an hour and 3p a mile for most of our cars. Mileage for electric vehicles will remain free and pricing for the 7 seat car is unchanged.

 

We know price rises are unwelcome news but to keep the car club sustainable we need to ensure we cover running costs which have increased in the past 20 months. A lot of our major costs such as car leasing and insurance have risen above the rate of inflation.

It is the first price increase since January 2016.  

Any bookings which have already been made for after September 15th will be honoured at the current rates.

Our prices remain very competitive and our mileage rate is the lowest of any national club. Our longer term and overnight rates are also highly competitive and we offer the lowest insurance excess as standard.

Our Toyota Aygo NA64 XZZ has moved to Bournville. She is now parked at the bottom of Meadow Rise B30 1UZ, close to the junction with Woodbrooke Road. Easy to get there: buses 27, 11, 61, 62, 63 or Bournville station is a 13 minute walk away

Thank you to Bournville Village Trust (BVT) for supporting the car club!

 

aygo at meadow rise

 

 

You might have noticed that we have been describing our now retired VW Passatt as Katie. In fact all the cars in the fleet have names; Winnie, Eva, Ducky and Nellie to name just a few. Surprisingly only 39% of drivers give their cars a name, although the figure is 50% for women drivers. Do men think they are just driving a machine? Boats have names and so should cars. Although I suppose it's harder getting rid of Katie than of a Passatt. Talking of naming boats, we would like suggestons for a name for our new Toyota Auris, but no suggestions for Car-y McCarface please. Eamil your suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the winner will receive a lovely driving credit.

Sadly poor Katie (our Passat estate) had to go.  Happily we now have her replacement: a Toyota Auris HYBRID estate. The Auris is the same size, can take roof bars and cycle carriers and is easier to drive. What's more, it emits just 84g/km CO2 - so now you can  drive your family around in a low-emissions car! She's parked on Franklin Road in Cotteridge, see the LOCATIONS & CARS page.

 

toyota auris at cotteridge park