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Joined up government....

I have always thought that Safed is a town in Israel also known as Safad or Tsfat, but it also happens to be the name of a project Ruth Kelly is rather proud of, this being "The Safe and Fuel Efficient Drivers (SAFED) scheme". More here.

Anyway, the DoT has spent some £2.2m training the enormous number of 7,800 van drivers in "driving techniques that save fuel, thereby cutting costs and CO2 emissions". From what I can see, the information it takes a day's course to convey - "avoiding over-revving and unnecessary gear changes, keeping correct braking distances" etc is covered by the driving test, but never mind.

Safed's site, which does not seem to understand the correct use of 'fewer', refers to it as being "a complementary driver development course, consisting of assessment and training". However, the press release I am working from footnotes "participants are expected to contribute to the cost of their training on a sliding scale", and it would seem that a pricing structure will appear one of these days.

Anyway, it reckons that the drivers who have taken the course achieve "an average 16% improvement in miles per gallon, giving a potential annual fuel saving of £3.3million", at a cost of £2.2m. Not a brilliant return on the investment, but we really ought to add in the 60% plus of the cost of a litre of petrol that Dismal Gordon and similarly Dismal Alistair will now be foregoing - let's call it the thick end of £2m. So it has cost the taxpayer £4.2m.

I'd pray that Gordon does not read your press releases if I were you Ruthie.

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Blogger CityUnslicker said... 10:23 pm

I found it very odd to see a Ford spokesman onthe BBC today saying what agreat idea all this was....perhaps it shows how much they fear taxes on them as opposed to restraints on their customers!  

Anonymous nomad said... 1:51 am

But will the average White Van Man take blind bit of notice of any of this?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:27 am

CU - I suppose the Fords, GMs, Toyotas and come to that Caterhams of this world don't really give a hoot about whether their buyers drive economically or otherwise.

N - Probably not. After all, I reckon all of the info they were being taught is in the driving test anyway.  

Anonymous zeno said... 10:47 am

I've never tried "training on a sliding scale". It sounds fun - do you think it might be like a skidpan?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:51 am

All a question of balance, I imagine...  

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