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Vehicles: Eco-driving Training

Volume 718: debated on Monday 8 March 2010


My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The department has today issued a consultation document on options to increase the uptake of eco-driving training for drivers of large goods vehicles (LGVs) and passenger-carrying vehicles (PCVs).

Emissions from freight movements stem primarily from the road sector, with LGVs representing 20 per cent of total domestic transport greenhouse gas emissions. The department’s preliminary analysis showed that, if 90 per cent of LGV drivers were eco-driving trained and continued to drive in that manner, up to 3 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved over a five-year carbon budgetary period and £300 million in fuel costs could be saved for the industry per year.

As part of the Government’s carbon reduction strategy for transport, Low Carbon Transport: A Greener Future, published in July 2009, the department therefore committed to exploring how to achieve a 90 per cent uptake of eco-driving courses for LGV drivers and to consulting on the options for doing so, including whether making eco-driving training a mandatory part of the EU driver certificate of professional competence (driver CPC) will help us to do this. This consultation document fulfils that commitment.

The consultation seeks views on three options for achieving a 90 per cent uptake of eco-driving courses for LGV drivers: no change on the current approach, where eco-driving training continues to be undertaken on a voluntary basis; a non-regulatory approach aiming to increase the promotion of the benefits of eco-driving training, through increased marketing or improved best practice; or regulatory change, where eco-driving training becomes a mandatory part of the driver CPC.

Because the driver CPC applies to both LGVs and passenger-carrying vehicles (PCVs), the consultation also considers the possibility and implications of making the eco-driving training a mandatory part of the driver CPC for both categories of driver.

I have placed copies of the document in the House Library.