Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Smart car pool to boost affordable eco-transport

Shared ownership residents at a landmark city centre development are to be given the use of eco-friendly Smart cars. The four vehicles will be available to all residents of the 182-apartment Brindley House scheme, in Birmingham, to help them combat the problems of parking and keep vehicle emissions down. The scheme, a £37 million transformation of a 15-storey 1970s tower block in Newhall Street, once dubbed one of the ugliest buildings in the city, includes 38 homes for shared ownership, to help local people get on the property ladder. The one and two-bedroom properties were acquired by Harden Housing Association, part of the West Mercia Housing Group, from MCD Developments Ltd and qualifying purchasers can start by buying as little as a 40 per cent share in their home. The car pool, which will be available from when the first residents move in early next year, is the first of its kind in Birmingham and one of only a handful in the UK. Rachael Matthews, aged 28, who has signed up for one of the apartments through the HomeBuy scheme with partner Andrew Bradley, 27, said: “I think the car pool is a fantastic idea and is another reason why we wanted to move here. “You do notice the congestion and pollution being in the city centre and this sort of things makes you feel like you are doing your bit.” Smart cars have been proven to have lower carbon dioxide emissions than most other models of vehicles.
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