The Safe and Fuel Efficient Drivers (SAFED) scheme aims to encourage driving techniques that save fuel, thereby cutting costs and CO2 emissions. Since its launch, the Department for Transport has invested nearly £2.2million in the scheme.
So far the programme has trained nearly 7,800 drivers.
Drivers who completed the training found they achieved an average 16% improvement in miles per gallon, giving a potential annual fuel saving of £3.3million and CO2 emissions reduction of 9,350 tonnes, equivalent to an average of £425 for each van driver and a reduction for CO2 emissions of around 1.2 tonnes.
The new money will part fund training for new instructors, new assessors and up to 6,500 drivers over the next three years.
Ruth Kelly, secretary of state for transport, Ruth Kelly said: "White van man is turning green. By learning safe, fuel efficient driving techniques, van drivers are playing a vital role in cutting CO2 emissions. They're helping tackle climate change, saving money and improving safety without impacting on customer delivery times
"I congratulate all the drivers who've done the training so far and urge others to do the same - it makes business and environmental sense."
SAFED is a one-day training course involving a mix of classroom and on-the-road tuition. It teaches drivers how techniques such as better use of gears and brakes (avoiding over-revving and unnecessary gear changes), keeping correct braking distances (not braking hard) and better road awareness (seeing junctions in good time) can improve both fuel efficiency and safety.