Cambridgeshire County Council has introduced a car sharing programme provided by car hire company Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The council has initially taken eight brand new, low CO2 emission vehicles, with six based at its main offices in Cambridge, one in Huntingdon and one in March.
The programme has been set up to replace its existing pool cars and also help it to move away from the ‘grey fleet’ of employees using their own cars for work trips and recharging mileage.
The aim of the initiative is to help control cost and reduce emissions by using new, small, more fuel-efficient rental cars.
Around 250 of the council’s 5,000 employees have already signed up. However, if the pilot is successful the plan is to expand the car share programme to other council locations throughout Cambridgeshire.
The vehicles are primarily being targeted at frequent, short-term trips, where previously employees would have used either the council’s pool cars or their own cars (and then reclaimed mileage reimbursement).
Alison Hurley, facilities services manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We’ve adopted Enterprise’s car sharing programme because it tallies with our flexible working objectives, which encourage our employees to think about the way they travel for business and consider the most cost-effective way to do so.
“We intend to make car sharing the primary form of transport for our employees at the three initial locations wherever appropriate.
“Using Enterprise’s car sharing programme rather than running our own pool car scheme will reduce costs and administration, and we’re encouraging all our staff to use these vehicles rather than their own cars for work journeys.
“Sustainability and duty of care are the other major considerations. We have no influence over the CO2 emissions and condition of our employees' own cars, many of which could be several years old and much larger than they need to be for the journey in question.
“The Enterprise cars we are using will be brand new and regularly maintained, ensuring they are safe to drive, plus we’ll benefit from the most fuel-efficient technologies and be able to track and minimise emissions over time. This will help us both reduce our carbon footprint and improve driver safety.”
Enterprise Rent-A-Car launched its car sharing programme in 2006 aimed at providing a solution for businesses requiring a short term transport solution.
It currently operates thousands of vehicles globally across both private and public sector organisations.