London taxi and private hire drivers have been schooled in smarter driving techniques to help them reduce carbon emissions.
Around 456 drivers have taken part in the Energy Saving Trust’s (EST’s) Smarter Driving training programme since January in an effort to help them better anticipate road conditions and increase fuel efficiency.
And London’s black cab drivers excelled themselves, achieving an average fuel saving of 24%, against an average driver fuel saving of 15%.
According to a 2009 report, taxi drivers in London travel an average of 8,000 miles per year, spending £2,224 on fuel at work. As a result of these savings, cabbies could save more than £500 per year at work if they continue the smarter driving techniques learned during their training.
Bob Saynor, Smarter Driving programme manager for the EST, said: “A London taxi driver uses around 1,590 litres of fuel per year, releasing over four tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“With heavier traffic congestion and even more visitors using transport on the city’s roads, emissions during this time are likely to increase to even greater heights.
“The Smarter Driving techniques help drivers anticipate further ahead, drive more smoothly and avoid unnecessary acceleration and braking.
“It’s great to see cabbies adopt the techniques so readily, as the combined reduction in emissions will contribute to a real difference in air quality in the city. We hope they keep up the good work.”
He added: “The training the drivers have received should help to minimise the impact of pollution this summer and beyond. I would urge other businesses in London interested in reducing their fuel consumption to take the training and techniques on board.”
Smarter Driving training also makes for safer drivers due to the strong focus on greater anticipation.
The training is available to businesses in any industry and takes 50 minutes per person to complete. The cost of the course is subsidised by the Department for Transport at £25 per driver. EST provides the vehicles and insurance and sessions start and finish at the workplace so disruption to the working day is minimised.
Smarter Driving courses can be organised by emailing email@example.com.
For more details on Smarter Driving visit www.est.org.uk/smarterdriving or call the Energy Saving Trust’s advice line, on 0845 602 1425, to talk to someone about Smarter Driving or any other transport-related issue.