Doncaster Council and Barnsley Council have secured funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to help improve air quality in the boroughs through the delivery of a free business driver support package.
Vehicle use has a major impact on both air quality and global warming through the emission of multiple air pollutants which are linked to a wide range of respiratory illnesses (WHO, 2019). An improved driving style can have a significantly positive impact on this by reducing the particulates emissions produced by the engine, tyres and brakes. If eco-driving becomes the norm rather than the exception, it has the potential to significantly reduce emissions from road transport (Ecowill, 2013).
The initiative offers both public and private sector organisations based in the Barnsley and Doncaster areas a free support package which includes:
- ½-day eco-safe driving course for all their drivers.
- Online fleet management system – to help manage driver and vehicle information
- Driving Policy review – to ensure your organisation’s compliance with current health and safety legislation
- Online e-learning modules – to complement the eco-safe driving course
Benefits of the training include;
- Improved fuel efficiency
- Reduced environmental impacts from driving
- Reduced fuel and maintenance costs
- Reduced collision rates
Doncaster Council's Head of Service Regulation and Enforcement, Tracey Harwood, said: "Air quality is very much in the public conscience and is everyone’s responsibility. This scheme allows us to cooperate with local businesses to improve the environment in Doncaster and by working with us helps them to reduce fuel costs and ensuring they are compliant with various health and safety checks."
Councillor Chris Lamb, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment and Transportation said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this initiative to organisations, as not only will it improve road safety, it will enhance air quality in the targeted areas. This programme complements the fantastic work already being done through Eco-Stars in the region, which helps fleet operators improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions and make cost savings. This also dovetails with a number of other measures that Barnsley Council has introduced or has planned for the near future that help address climate change and air quality issues.”
Neil Beeson of e-Driving Solutions, the company delivering the initiative on behalf of the councils, said: “Modern vehicles have advanced significantly over the last few years, but most drivers use driving techniques that fail to maximise the full saving these new vehicles could deliver. Many organisations spend a great deal on their vehicles but often fail to ensure their drivers are able to maximise the efficiency savings these offer.”
The first 50 organisations enrolling on the scheme will receive the following free:
- ½-day eco-safe driving course for their drivers
- Driving policy review to help ensure compliance with current health and safety legislation
- Access to the online fleet management tool
- Driver e-learning modules
Find out more at www.eco-businessdriving.co.uk