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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

York Council Wins Award for Cutting Car Costs

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4:46pm 29th November 2013

City of York Council has won a national award and was a close runner-up for another, for its work on increasing car sharing and use of its car club amoung staff, and for halving the number of staff owned vehicles used during business hours in the last three years.

The Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero Awards celebrates public and private organisations that are successfully reducing fuel bills and lowering their carbon footprints. It also recognises companies that supply cost and fuel saving products or services to fleets.

The council won the category for the Grey Fleet Management Award and was a runner-up for the Business Mileage Management category.

The award recognises the extensive work carried out over the past three years which has seen significant changes to the council’s staff fleet, in particular to a 50 per cent reduction in the number staff using their own vehicles for business use (known as Grey fleet).

This follows a review carried out by the Energy Savings Trust in 2010, on behalf of the council called the ‘Green Fleet review’, which benchmarked the number of vehicles, mileage and CO2 produced by council fleet activities.

From this review the council identified the top 50 teams across the council who travelled the most and implemented a number of changes to help staff move away from ‘grey fleet usage’ for business travel. This included the introduction of low emission and hybrid pool cars, a car club and car sharing schemes – in partnership with the City Car Club and Enterprise cars.

The impact of these changes has resulted in a significant reduction in grey fleet miles, Co2 emissions and vehicles used and increased the utilisation of existing pool cars and car sharing for business travel.

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “This is fantastic news! Encouraging our own staff to drive more sustainably and to consider using electric vehicles or car sharing echoes the same message we’re hoping to achieve city wide with all residents and business through our i-Travel York programme.

“We’ve seen excellent results and significant changes among council staff just from a simple change in driving habits, and it’s brilliant that this work has been recognised through the national awards and that we’re reducing air pollution and climate changing emissions.”

Geoff Derham, head of Waste and Fleet services at City of York Council, said: “We’re delighted by this award and that our work has been recognised through the Fleet Hero Awards. We’ve carried out an extensive review over the last three years and have seen an excellent take up in our car sharing and car pool schemes as a result.

“We may not have managed to move all staff away from using their own cars during business hours, but we’ve seen a 40 per cent movement away from private car usage which is great news.

“When there’s no incentive to drive more miles through claiming back private car use, the mileage goes down and as a result the council has benefitted from a 26 per cent drop in mileage claims.”

The awards ceremony took place on 28 November at the Institute of Directors in London.

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