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COUNCIL FLEET WINS GREEN AWARD

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Newcastle City Council's fleet has been presented with a special award by Transport Action, a government-funded age...
Newcastle City Council's fleet has been presented with a special award by Transport Action, a government-funded agency that promotes environmentally friendly transport, at the 2002 Green Fleet Awards.

The award was presented by David Jamieson, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the DTLR in recognition of the wide ranging initiatives it has put in place to improve the environmental performance of its fleet.

The city council immediately recognised the important role its fleet had to play in meeting the council's corporate policy priority to improve the environment of the city. This is why a commitment to run 360 of its vehicles (approximately 45% of its fleet) on Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) by 2003 was included in the council's Green Transport Plan drawn up in February 2000. This target has already been achieved.

In fact, the city council has already gone several steps further than this and now carries out conversions of vehicles so they can run on LPG at the Cityworks depot at Newington Road, where fuel pumps for LPG have already been installed. Cityworks has also entered into a partnership with Springfield Citroen, making the council their preferred partner for carrying out conversions for vehicles. As a result, the environmental improvements brought about by the work at Newington Road are now being felt nationwide. The city council has also encouraged its own staff to have their vehicles converted, making clear the financial as well as the environmental benefits of conversion to them.

It is this wide ranging aspect of the city's work that prompted the judges to describe the council's operations as 'An excellent citywide initiative encompassing all sectors that show commitment without compromise. It includes education, provision of alternative fuels, vehicle conversion and, deservingly, a substantial financial saving.'

Linda Wright, cabinet member for environment, public health and safety, said: 'I firmly believe that the city council's policies on green transport lead the way in the country. Winning this prestigious award only backs up that belief. Improving the environment is one of the key policy priorities for the city council and our transport fleet is more than playing its part in helping achieve those improvements. I would like to congratulate them on winning this important and richly deserved award.'

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