A FLAGSHIP scheme launched to reduce the carbon footprint of St Albans with a car sharing club is about to collapse because of poor take-up.

Formerly known as WhizzGo, and now the City Car Club, the scheme, run in cooperation with the district council, is due to end next Friday, November 6.

Under the project, praised by national environmental campaigner Joanna Yarrow as a practical way of reducing car use and the emmissions causing climate change, people can hire a car for as little as an hour online, using parking bays at handy locations such as the train station.

Phil Yorke, who lives in the Bernards Heath area, said: “one of the parking bays is only five minutes walk away, so it is really convenient.

“With my wife and I working in central London and therefore not having a need or funds to own a car, we have found the car club extremely useful for those local trips where we don't require a hire car for the whole weekend.

“If we just want to go for a short shopping trip to Watford or Hemel Hempstead it is ideal.”

Members are given a card which opens the car by swiping a chip in the driver's window and can collect the keys from the glove compartment.

Keith Kelly of City Car Club, a company which took over the scheme from WhizzGo to run it with the help of the council, said: “In the majority of our locations, our cars are very popular and highly successful. However, in a minority of the former WhizzGo locations the take-up and utilisation of the service has fallen well below expectations.

"Unfortunately, our City Car Club cars in St Albans fall into this category. Since WhizzGo launched, it was unable to attract enough members to make the service financially viable and the tough market conditions now mean we are unable to sustain our operations in the city. We have tried to make arrangements for another car club to take over our operation in St Albans but unfortunately this has not come to fruition."

The Review has asked for a comment from St Albans District Council.