Short break holiday operator Center Parcs has opened its latest Village at Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, with an outright purchase fleet of 35 electric and low carbon vehicles implemented by fleet management specialist, CLM.
CLM has managed the Center Parcs fleet since 2007 under an outsource arrangement that has seen the two companies work closely together on developing and refining the fleet policy.
The vehicles at Woburn Forest are in line with the Center Parcs environmental policy, which has a minimum ‘green’ standard that no petrol vehicles are to be used at all, diesel vehicles must meet the latest European specification and electric vehicles are to be introduced wherever they can be practically used.
The Woburn Forest fleet includes nine Renault Kangoo ZE electric vans, seven of which are used by the technical services team to carry out maintenance work across the village, and two by the dining-in services team to deliver takeaway meals to guests.
In addition, there are two Renault Kangoo diesel vans which are used by the technical services team to go offsite.
There are also three Toyota Auris Hybrids used by guest services operate as pool cars to travel between the other four holiday villages, there are three Toyota Hilux double-cab diesels for the grounds, forestry and security teams.
The Woburn Forest fleet also includes five Ford 17-seater Transit minibuses, three of which are used to transport housekeeping cleaning teams onto Woburn Forest, while a further two are used to collect guests and their luggage from the nearby train station, Flitwick.
The fleet also comprises nine Mercedes Vito diesel vans, two of which have refrigerated units to deliver groceries from the site’s supermarket to guest lodges and the rest for Housekeeping linen teams. A further Ford Transit with Tail lift is used to transport catering goods around Village to the various restaurants.
In addition, there is a Mercedes Vito eight-seater Travel Liner as a transport to take guests around the site, and a specially converted Renault Trafic for disabled and other guests who have mobility challenges.
And the onsite Medical Team uses a Subaru Forester 4x4 which have been fitted out as a paramedic vehicle, capable of handling medical emergencies.
The new vehicles form part of Center Parcs overall fleet of 175 vehicles, based at its existing four short break locations – Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest, Longleat Forest and Whinfell Forest – plus the new Woburn Forest site.
Center Parcs UK projects manager - operations, Mike Henderson, who for the last 26 months has been Implementation Manager for the Woburn Forest site, said: "We are delighted to have been able to open our newest village and we are thrilled with the excellent reaction and feedback from guests.
"Integral to our operation, which welcomes 1.7m guests on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis, has been the very successful partnership we have formed with CLM, our specialist fleet management partner since 2007.
"CLM has maintained a very close relationship with us over the years and fully understands the needs of our business. They have the knowledge and experience to work with us to deliver an efficient fleet that is fit-for-purpose.
"It is also very important for us that the vehicles selected are as environmentally friendly as possible as this drives all our aspirations. We are committed to being as green as possible, we want to invest in the latest technology, and consistently reduce our carbon footprint wherever practically possible.
"CLM has great experience and understanding of our fleet and have helped us to refine and improve our fleet policy over the years. They provide us with a consultative service to help identify and evaluate vehicles, and once we have made our final vehicle choice, have been responsible for procuring all our vehicles using their considerable buying power and contacts.
"CLM also ensures that our specification needs are met and all our vehicles are sprayed in our corporate colours and include our corporate logo, as well as managing all conversions and ensuring they are fitted out correctly,” he said.
Center Parcs purchases all its vehicles, replacing them after five years, with the exception of the mini-buses which are replaced every three years.
CLM manage the fleet maintenance programmes for all vehicles as well as providing accident repair services.
"CLM handles the de-fleeting process and manages the process in reverse, collecting all the vehicles, evaluating them and removing the logos, prior to removing them on our behalf," he said.
"In short, they provide us with the ideal end-to-end turnkey package of vehicle management which has allowed us to concentrate on what we do best which is delivering excellent quality short breaks for families."
CLM general manager, Simon Cotton, said: "We are delighted to have been able to provide Center Parcs with the ideal mix of vehicles to meet their many and varied transport needs at the new Woburn Forest Village, and which are fully in line with their ongoing fleet policy."