Even though companies can cut their fuel expenses, save wear on their vehicles, and lower their carbon footprint, few are taking advantage of a government subsidized eco-driving training. The training course is so heavily subsidized that the cost to companies is just £15 per person who takes the course.
It is a high frustration factor among officials at the Department for Transport that the courses remain nearly empty. Last year only 7000 drivers were trained, while the department had targeted for 26,000.
It is such a benefit, one official commented, that I cannot understand why we have such a lack of participation. Indeed, out of 150 different organizations participating in the smart driver trainings, every one said that they benefited greatly from the techniques taught.
Eco-driving advocates advise that if everybody in the UK used eco-driving techniques like smooth acceleration and shutting down engines in traffic jams, the impact would amount to the same as that of the entire bio-fuel programme.
Businesses that practice eco-friendly driving report high fuel savings and fewer maintenance repairs on vehicles. It just a kinder way to drive, says one expert, for the environment and your vehicle.
This is an example where government has gone ahead and attempted to do the right thing, even financing the programme with £450,000 and there are practically no takers. Officials at the Department for Transport seem bothered and particularly frustrated by their inability to get businesses to participate in the eco-friendly driving courses, which are given by way of the Energy Savings Trust.
There is no word on how much longer the programme may have to live given the bleak participation to this point in time.