09 June 2010

AWP teams get smart with staff travel - new Smart cars help Bristol mental health teams reduce their carbon footprint and manage travel costs

Twenty low emission Smart cars  have been delivered to Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) in Bristol for use as pool cars, as part of the Trust's commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

The diesel Pulse cars emit around half the CO2 per mile of the average car and are A-rated for their fuel economy, making them cheaper to run.

Sustainable production methods also mean the cars are easier to recycle and they take up less road space.

Building on an existing  pilot scheme, AWP aims for these low emission cars to replace over 100,000 miles per year currently undertaken by community teams in their own cars. This would reduce emissions, save money and create more opportunities for staff to leave their own cars at home.

Pierre Fox, AWP's Sustainable Travel Project Manager, says the scheme is already proving popular: "We ran a small pilot scheme early last year so that we could understand the benefits and costs involved in pool vehicles. Since then, there has been considerable interest in the scheme from staff members who understand the potential advantages that the pool cars offer.

"This is just one of a number of initiatives to help the Trust reduce its carbon footprint. We would hope to be able to expand the project in the future as these vehicles offer a real opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, manage costs and promote active travel - a truly long term solution!"

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