Truck drivers across the UK are going to be taught how to drive with less aggression on the road – all in the aid of lowering emissions due to fuel consumption.
The DfT will supply training for 10,000 drivers in 2017 as part of the Governments plan to improve air quality in the UK.
The course will first and foremost target haulage firms who have large vehicle fleets, the course will eventually be extended to other forms of commercial drivers as well as private motorists if the driving course becomes popular.
Driving instructors are also being offered new methods of teaching to ensure they can pass on fuel-saving methods to their learners
The Government released documents detailing their clean air strategy, the documents claim that aggressive drivers could be a significant part of pollution rising to illegal levels on many UK roads.
‘Excessive speed, maintaining high engine revolutions, and accelerating hard are all known to increase fuel consumption and can affect emissions,’ the report revealed.
Truck drivers to be taught Eco-Driving
Pilot schemes suggest that fuel consumption is ‘typically reduced by around 15 per cent after a single lesson,’ the report also stated.
Forecasts predicted by the government suggest the training of up to 100,000 drivers and them driving less aggressively could have as strong an impact on pollution as a costly scrapping scheme of older vehicles that no longer match requirements.
The scheme will be part of a £2.8 million scheme sourced by the DfT and provided by the Energy Savings Trust.
They will be urging drivers to “avoid excessive speed” as the lessons will highlight that fuel consumption for large vans is estimated at 27% higher at 75MPH rather than 60 MPH.
The course will encourage “smoother” driving, without sharp breaks or increased acceleration.
The EST course states that in typical urban driving life “the vast majority of fuel is used for acceleration”.
Drivers will also be taught methods of using higher gears at lower speeds and to use air conditioning “sparingly”.
Removal of roof racks and ladders from vans when not needed will be insisted, which will reduce vehicle drags.
Tory concerns have increased about the impact the current air pollution strategy has had, which is why the course and other plans by the government are set to be introduced over the next few years. There is still much uncertainty about what the Government plan to do in the case of older diesel cars, with many potentially being banned from roads.
Other ministers are concerned that this will only cause backlash from motorists and have minimal impact on emissions across the UK despite funding.
Ex-Minister Robert Halfon told reports: “The war on diesel drivers is morally wrong and un-conservative”
He also stated the Government should be introducing generous scrappage systems to support drivers when replacing diesel cars that they previously bought through government faith, adding: “The motorist who was duped into buying diesel faces additional charges for following the wrong advice issued by a previous government. Scandalous doesn’t begin to describe it.”