Norfolk County Council has launched a new car club programme for its employees that is designed to reduce travel costs, relieve pressure on parking at its offices and reduce carbon emissions.
The approach is designed to reduce its expenditure on 'grey fleet' mileage costs by encouraging employees to book and use the low-emission car club vehicles instead of using their own vehicles for work. This will also mean less parking is needed for private cars at the council's offices.
Ten Enterprise Car Club Vauxhall Corsas will be based at the council's Norwich headquarters for employees to use as 'virtual' pool cars that can be booked by the hour.
There are a further four Ford Focus estates for the 'swift teams' who respond to out-of-hours emergencies among elderly and infirm residents.
In addition to Enterprise Car Club, council staff can hire vehicles by the day from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and rent commercial vehicles on a long-term basis through Enterprise Flex-E-Rent.
Tracy Jessop, assistant director, community and environmental services at Norfolk County Council, said: “Our intention, in addition to making savings on our business mileage costs, is to release pressure on parking at our main offices.
“Having a 'virtual' pool car fleet provided by Enterprise Car Club will also lead to fewer people having to drive their own cars to work, in support of our other sustainable travel initiatives.”
Enterprise is running road shows at the council offices to explain how the new car club vehicles work and to get potential users engaged in this new way of managing their business travel. Most of the council's 2,000 head office employees will be eligible for the programme.
Adrian Bewley, director of business rental UK and Ireland at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, continued: “Grey fleet expenditure is a significant cost for many councils and the good news is that there are now many ways to better manage business travel.
“The right blend of car club, daily rental and longer term rental keeps people mobile in a highly cost-effective way and analysing journey data can prove the business case.
“Norfolk County Council is another in the growing list of public sector organisations looking to offer more sustainable travel options and take a more efficient approach to business mobility. That type of forward thinking is great to see and some corporate fleets could learn from these examples. We're also helping the council get its employees bought into the process because that will really drive its success in the future.”