By Oliver Hall
A new initiative to help van operators save money and reduce carbon emissions has been launched by the Department for Transport.
Simple steps, including ensuring tyres are at the optimum pressure, could add up to a five per cent improvement in the fuel efficiency of vans, according to the Government.
This translates to a saving of around £250 million a year for UK businesses and a reduction of carbon emissions by three quarters of a million tonnes.
However, research published to coincide with the launch of the new Van Best Practice programme suggests that improving fuel efficiency is currently not a priority for most van operators.
Despite the recession, more than half (52 per cent) admitted they had not considered ways to reduce fuel costs in the past 12 months, and just seven per cent said they plan journeys based on fuel efficiency.
Larry Martindale, programme manager for Van Best Practice said: “Through the programme we aim to raise awareness of the range of best practice guidance available to the van sector, helping businesses to improve their safety and operational efficiency while informing them of the financial and environmental benefits of implementing this advice.
“There are simple things that van drivers could be doing to improve the efficiency of their vehicles, such as ensuring tyres are at the optimum pressure through regular checks and avoiding carrying non essential items.”
To coincide with its launch, Van Best Practice has produced two guides for fleet managers and van drivers: the first providing practical advice on reviewing existing practices, reducing running costs and introducing improvement measures; the second supporting this with a step-by-step guide to managing fuel use.