Plan will save £30k

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THE number of vehicles owned by a council are being reduced as part of a financial and environmental initiative.

Last year, North Tyneside Council trimmed the number of its vans, lorries and diggers by around 20 per cent to save money and reduce its carbon footprint.

And following a further reduction of 13 vehicles by April, the council will cut carbon emissions by almost 300 tonnes and save around £300,000.

Techniques have been introduced to ensure vehicles do not travel the same overall mileage. Measures include route optimisation technology, vehicle sharing and driver training programmes.

Coun Ed Hodson, cabinet member for the environment, said: “It is everyone’s duty to look after the environment but as their local authority, it is our responsibility to set a good example.

“We’ve set an ambitious target to reduce our carbon footprint and restructuring our vehicle fleet is one of the many ways in which we’re working hard to achieve it.

“But as well as leading to significant carbon reductions, our new working will achieve better value for money for local taxpayers.”

The council recently received recognition from the Carbon Trust for successfully completing its Carbon Management Programme.

The programme includes a range of projects to tackle greenhouse gas emissions over a five-year period, with an ongoing commitment to continue their reduction into the future.

Central to this is an education programme and carbon reduction policy, incorporated into every aspect of the council’s working.

The local authority has an aspirational target for a 34 per cent reduction of its emissions by 2015.

Future savings directed across the borough will include installing energy efficiency measures such as cavity wall insulation, more efficient lighting and voltage optimisation equipment and solar energy generation.