Gateshead Council is a local authority responsible for a range of transport services. In 2007, they launched their sustainability strategy and committed themselves to a crash-free, carbon-free fleet by 2030.
Gateshead’s current sustainability strategy (Vision 2030) commits them to implementing a sustainable transport plan, that will reduce the number of journeys carried out on the road; encourage the use of active and public transport options by employees; and discourage private car travel on Council business or travelling to and from work.
Their sustainable travel plan is supported by a wide range of up-to-date tools, including:
- infrastructure designed to support active transport (e.g. segregated cycling paths);
- discounted bus travel offered to council employees;
- accessible car-sharing opportunities;
- opportunities to work from home (e.g. video conferencing);
- an internal communications network to share relevant safety information (e.g. bulletins);
- driver training modules (e.g. toolbox talks); and
- safe driving simulators that encourage eco-driving techniques (e.g. no stop-start driving).
“The introduction of eco-driver training resulted in increased compliance, positive driving habits and better fuel management from council drivers. These gains were supported by in-vehicle monitoring and a speed restriction of 55mph in all council vehicles.”
Gateshead’s sustainable travel plan offers its employees access to an accessible car-sharing initiative. The ‘Co-Wheels Car Club’ is a pay-as-you-go car-hire scheme that offers its’ members the opportunity to hire and drive vehicles from a pool that includes three electric cars and 30 low-emission vehicles.
There are currently more than 500 members signed up to scheme, which guarantees parking, access to low-emission vehicles and the electric vehicle charging-points available across the borough.
Since the implementation of a sustainable travel plan, Gateshead Council fleet has experienced significant fuel savings. Especially after changing their fleet supply programme to monitor standard fuel usage and introducing bio-fuelled vehicles into their fleet (23% of the fleet).
The introduction of eco-driver training resulted in increased compliance, positive driving habits and better fuel management from council drivers. These gains were supported by in-vehicle monitoring and a speed restriction of 55mph in all council vehicles.
These initiatives are constantly under review by Gateshead Council and updated based on driver performance data and vehicle mileage.
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