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COUNCIL GOES GREEN WITH ELECTRIC POOL CAR

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Leeds City Council's planning service is embracing the future of ...
Leeds City Council's planning service is embracing the future of

environmentally friendly transport by adopting an electric pool car for its

staff.

A car called the 'G-Wiz' (pictured), which runs entirely on electricity, will be used

by the city's planners and building surveyors as a pool car on a trial

period of twelve months. This will help save officers thousands of miles a

year in conventional petrol driven cars and help save the environment by

reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Using an electric car is part of the planning service's cutting edge Travel

Plan, which aims to reduce traffic congestion and the impact of car use on

the environment. All local authorities are required to develop travel plans

in accordance with EU and governmental directives.

Councillor Elizabeth Minkin, executive board member for transport and the

environment, said:

'We are leading by example here in Leeds by taking a really innovative

approach to reducing our impact on the environment.

'Not only will we cut down emissions of carbon dioxide, but we will

also help reduce congestion and our consumption of fossil fuels. Even

our electricity supply comes from renewable resources making an

electric car a truly green choice.'

John Lynch, director of planning and environment for Leeds City Council,

said:

'Planning services face additional pressures to develop a travel plan

that goes above and beyond the basics. As the local planning

authority, we require developers to prepare travel plans for schemes

in the city and we must therefore make sure we can demonstrate good

practice ourselves and lead by example.

'We are constantly trying to reduce the need to travel to meetings and

make site visits by car, but such visits are becoming increasingly

essential. In using an electric pool car we have a vehicle which costs

very little to run, doesn't damage the environment and reduces the

need for staff to use their own cars for work purposes.'

The number of planning applications in Leeds requiring a site visit has

increased dramatically over the last few years. This means council planners

and surveyors have to use their own transport to get to them. Last year it

was calculated that staff covered over 189,000 miles in their own vehicles

whilst conducting site visits.

The G-Wiz electric car claims to be one of the most cost-effective vehicles

in production anywhere in the world. It gives off no emissions or engine

noise, has a top speed of 40mph and can run for 40 miles on a full charge

at a cost of one pence per mile. Anyone leasing the G-Wiz pays no road tax

and can benefit from low insurance rates.

Instead of using a petrol driven engine, the G-Wiz is powered by an

electric motor. It requires around six hours to charge fully and can be

simply plugged into the mains supply. Leeds City Council is taking part in

a year's pilot of the G-Wiz to demonstrate its benefits to other

authorities.

The G-Wiz car is being leased from Leeds-based company 'GoinGreen'. Their

cars can be leased for a maximum of three years or for £1 per hour. For

more information visit www.goingreen.co.uk or call 0113 247 0044.

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