Nottinghamshire County Council is set to reduce its annual fuel cost for its fleet of vehicles by £91,500 by the end of this month despite the increased price for petrol and diesel.
The saving is part of a wider programme to save an £900,000 this year by the end of March on its transport costs, including its fleet and staff travel expenses.
The fuel cost reduction is mainly due to making better use of a smaller number of vehicles – the 463 vehicle fleet has been reduced by 51 vehicles.
Around £185,000 has been saved by rationalising the council’s fleet through reduced lease and maintenance costs and the money raised from the sale of the 21 vehicles that the authority owned.
The council has made a £600,000 saving on reduced travel expenses relating to staff using their own vehicles for work, which represents a reduction of 1.3m miles of travel.
This has been achieved by encouraging staff to use cheaper travel alternatives such as public transport and find alternatives for meetings beyond their office such as telephone conference calls where possible and bringing teams together in a smaller number of buildings so less need for travel.
Tracking devices have been introduced in all of the Council’s fleet vehicles which have allowed the authority to monitor vehicle usage and identify possible savings, including whether training is required for employees to ensure they drive more economically.
The authority aims to save a further £900,000 by April 2013 by reducing its fleet by a further 40 and continued work to reduce staff mileage claims.
Coun Reg Adair, the county council’s cabinet member for finance and property, said: “The reduced fuel cost is a great example of the Council making better use of its resources to find efficiencies and counteracting the rising price of petrol and diesel.
“Our streamlined fleet means less vehicles standing around at our depot when not required and creates savings that we can reinvest in frontline services across the Council.
“We are not resting on our laurels – we plan to carry on with the good work and make similar savings next year on our transport costs.”