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Bristol Airport drives into the future

Created: 9th Feb 2016

Bristol Airport’s Ground Transportation (GT) team has been put through its paces on a local Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) course.


The SAFED course develops driver skills and knowledge specifically in the area of road safety and fuel efficiency – perfect for members of the GT team, whose responsibility includes driving the buses serving the Airport’s on-site car parks as well as a fleet of vehicles which patrol the 194 hectare site.

Driving style is a major factor in the fuel consumption of a vehicle and, by following the SAFED guidance, drivers can save a considerable amount of fuel. Increasing fuel costs and a desire to improve staff environmental awareness were the drivers behind Bristol Airport’s involvement in the SAFED course. 

Working in partnership with Somax Ltd., a local company based in Backwell, North Somerset, 16 drivers took part in a one day’s training course which consisted of a 50 minute driving assessment where fuel consumption and driving technique was monitored. This was followed by classroom activities learning how driver behaviour can affect a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. After a classroom session, drivers followed the same route, allowing for the recently acquired tips to be put into practice. On average, the drivers improved fuel consumption by over 12%. The fuel consumption figures were taken from the buses on-board computer system. 

Melanie King, Environment Manager at Bristol Airport, said: 

“We are delighted to be working with Somax Ltd. on this driver training initiative which follows other initiatives to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, including electric charging points in car parks for use by staff and customers, and the introduction of an electric vehicle used by the IT department when installing and maintaining equipment across the Airport site. Taken together, these projects will make a real difference to the energy we consume through ground transport use.” 

Simon Werkshagen, Managing Director, Somax Ltd said:

“We have been delivering SAFED since 2004 and have delivered the program to over 800 drivers with similar fuel efficiency seen with all our customers; it is a tried and tested training program. All the drivers that took part in the program not only learnt new driving techniques to minimise fuel but also reinforced areas of practise within driving that had diminished over the years. Each driver was open to criticism and fun was had by all. The most important part of SAFED was achieved in that the drivers will adopt these slight changes in driving technique whilst at work and also for themselves when away from the Airport keeping the environment clean and our roads safer.”