Recessionary pressures coupled with customer insistence on greater environmental  considerations, have led to a remarkable growth in car club operator Streetcar's membership.

The company - which also announced plans to add the BMW 1 and 3 Series to its portfolio - today unveiled member numbers almost doubling to 75,000 in 12 months, while also claiming even this figure would increase sharply to 250,000 by 2012.

"There are a whole range of factors for the growth," a Streetcar spokeswoman told just-auto. "Certainly the recession has had an impact - it has encouraged people to think more creatively about their costs. There are also those motivated by green factors."

And it's not just private members, who have been attracted to Streetcar. The number of business customers using the car club has soared from 900 in December 2008 to almost 2,000 a year later, according to the spokeswoman, prompting the operator to forecast a fleet rise from 1,100 to nearly 2,000 by September this year.

"These moves are part of our radical expansion plans for 2010," said co-founder Brett Akker. "We believe our growth will enable more and more people to consider giving up a car - a trend which we've already seen increasing dramatically during the past six years."

Streetcar also numbers the Volkswagen Polo, Golf, Touran and Transporter vans among its portfolio, as well as the latest addition of the BMW models. The operator currently focuses on seven UK cities: London, Brighton, Cambridge, Southampton, Guildford, Maidstone and, most recently, Oxford.