Eco driving dropped from driver CPC training plans
By: William Hobson
21 October 2010
Proposals to make eco-friendly driver training a compulsory part of Driver CPC by the previous government have been abandoned by Transport Minister Mike Penning.
Under the proposals from March 2010, made after a consultation on the uptake of 'eco-driving' - fuel efficient driving - such techniques would have become a mandatory part of CPC training, with drivers expected to undergo a relevant module every five years to qualify for commercial driving work. This was favoured by Skills for Logistics (SfL) but opposed by both the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Road Haulage Association.
Road Transport reports that then transport under-secretary Paul Clark said the government wanted 90 per cent of lorry drivers to have eco-friendly driver training as some 20% of all transport emissions come from logistics work. These figures have been noted by the new transport minister, Mike Penning, who says that eco-driving has "real potential" to reduce the "22% of UK greenhouse emissions" caused by road freight.
"However at this challenging economic time, I believe it is vital that we don't add to the regulatory burden that industry has to deal with," said Penning.
Instead the Department for Transport (DfT)has announced that it will work with the industry to promote eco-driving and fuel savings, with a review of the level of uptake expected in 2012.
"Reducing emissions means reducing fuel use and I am looking to the industry to take the lead in incorporating eco-driving and other fuel-reduction measures," said Penning.
Although the news has disappointed SfL chief executive Mike Jackson, who told Road Transport that "I can't help thinking that it is an opportunity lost" and voiced fears that "only the enlightened will now follow it up", the FTA has welcomed it.
Speaking in Transport Engineer, the FTA's chief economist Simon Chapman said it was "excellent news for industry."
"It is a welcome recognition by government that working with the grain of industry, through voluntary initiatives, has the potential to deliver the cost efficiencies that industry is striving for," he said.
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