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Council's commitment to cutting carbon footprint hailed at transport conference

GREEN fleet managers from organisations across England and Wales have been learning about how Swansea Council has built up the biggest public sector-operated electric vehicle fleet in Wales.

greenfleet event

At a major transport conference staged in the city Swansea Council was being hailed a 'beacon of excellence' by Green Fleet Cymru, an organisation dedicated to encouraging business to help solve the problem of air pollution by investing in ultra-low emission vehicles.

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy at Swansea Council, said Swansea was delighted that its effort to set an example to the rest of Wales was being recognised by its peers.

She said: "This was the second GreenFleet Cymru event and it's great that Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport was here as keynote speaker.

"It's great to see the Welsh Government, other public sector organisations and businesses recognises our commitment to tackling air pollution and reducing carbon emissions."

Cllr Lewis said: "So far we have 41 electric vehicles, the biggest public sector fleet of its kind in Wales.

"This will help cut our carbon footprint, save money and, best of all, help reduce air pollution in our city. But we all should be doing more.

"Our new Green Fleet policy will be looking at all options to find ways of reducing emission levels from our fleet, including looking into biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells as well as fully-electric methods.

"As a council, we operate a high volume of vehicles on roads across the city every day and this new policy sets out our intention to lead by example with our fleet wherever possible.

"The impact of carbon emissions on our air quality is something we all need to be concerned about so we can improve our local environment."

She added: "One of the challenges for the future is for local government and the Welsh Government to work together to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points.

"Owners of electric vehicles need to feel they are never far away from an available charging point and we aim to ensure new car parks being created in the city in coming years will have electric vehicle charging infrastructure built-in."

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management said: "We are very proud to have won GreenFleet Cymru's Public Sector Green Fleet of the Year award for our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.

"Swansea is a large city and our staff travel many miles using council vehicles. It's only right that we look seriously at newer technology being used to power the different types of vehicles we use. 

"Gaining the recognition for our efforts so early on in our plans for a green fleet is very rewarding and shows our intentions for the future."

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