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Science park is cut out of car sharing.

Byline: Graeme Brown Staff Reporter

THE city council has missed an opportunity to improve links to a Birmingham science park by ticketing car-share vehicles, say workers.

More than 6,000 people have registered to use Birmingham's Car2Go carsharing scheme since May, with the offer of 35p-perminute travel and free parking in council-owned car parks.

But the scheme has not been extended to Birmingham Science Park tenants near Aston University, where the council controls car parking.

Now science park workers say the council has failed to capitalise on an opportunity to ease the historic problem of connecting Eastside companies to the rest of the city. David Kuczora, a science park tenant and member of the city centre committee for lobbying group Birmingham Future, said: "Despite the efforts invested in the science park and Eastside more generally to inspire both academic and economic development, we remain constrained by the concrete collar. There is no feasible way to traverse the city other than on foot, by car or making multiple bus changes.

"Car2Go's scheme seemed a breath of fresh air - a cost-effective, sensible and low carbon way to pool car resources. Unfortunately the revelation that only public Birmingham City Council car parks are usable constricts us yet again. Eastside is in danger of not reaching its full potential until this issue of accessibility to the rest of the city is addressed."

The Car2Go website states it offers "unlimited mobility" and aims to contribute to sustainable living in Birmingham. It says parking is "free on all pay and display bays, car parks and free to park areas".

Car2Go allows members to rent one of the 250 vehicles parked around the city using a special access card.

A city council spokesman said: "In order for Car2go customers to access vehicles they have to be left in publicly available parking areas and car parks. As the car parks at Birmingham Science Park are private, and spaces are designated for use by the businesses located on the site, this means Car2go vehicles cannot be left there."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 1, 2013
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