Launched in January 2006, SAFED (Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving) for Vans aimed to deliver cheaper, greener and safer driving to van drivers across England. It was initially subsidised by £2.6 million of Department for Transport cash, which was used to train 7,500 drivers free of charge.
Now the scheme has entered its commercial phase. Since April, companies wanting to take advantage of the training have had to pay.
A spokeswoman for SAFED said there had been a drop in demand since the subsidised training ended, but added that there was still interest, which was expected to grow.
Programme manager Claire Shrewsbury said: “The funded stage of SAFED has been a great success and the numbers clearly demonstrate that it delivers real results.
“This year has also been crucial in developing and embedding SAFED as an initiative that will go from strength to strength in the long term.
“The DfT funding has helped to equip the network of trainers with the standard to deliver SAFED in the future on a commercial basis.
“It is expected that the commercial roll-out will continue the success we’ve seen during the funding phase and that SAFED will be recognised as a key requirement for drivers training and development.”
For more information, visit www.safed.org.uk