A COACH company hasn’t been idle in cutting its fuel costs.

Initiatives to cut fuel costs – and improve environmental performance – have paid dividends for Milnsbridge-based E Stott & Sons Ltd.

The company, based at Colne Vale Garage, had a Road Angel live tracking system fitted to its fleet of 12 coaches in 2009 as a first step to saving on fuel costs and keeping track of its vehicles.

Director Carl Stott said: “Initially, we had the hardware fitted to 12 coaches and after the first 12 months we saved about £22,000 on fuel by reducing idle time by one hour per coach per day.

“We issued an idle time report every Monday for drivers to see, which highlighted all idle time over five minutes.

“We invited all drivers to see how the system worked, what reports we could produce, the reasons why we had it installed and we encouraged them to contribute any further ideas for improvement.”

Last year, as fuel prices began to rise again, the company had Road Angel fitted to the rest of its fleet – and looked to make additional savings on fuel costs by getting driver totals for idling time which could be converted into actual cost per driver.

Road Angel provided a weekly driver mileage summary report listing each driver’s total mileage, duration, idle time and time in motion.

Said Carl: “Since we introduced this report, we have seen another decrease in idle time and think that this further saving is sustainable. The system also enables us to check our carbon usage and cost of fuel per vehicle per day.

“In these challenging economic times, these savings have enabled us to give all our staff their annual pay increase this year, which may not have happened in the absence of these savings on idle time.”

The first week’s report showed a cost of £623.32. Subsequent weekly savings have ranged between about £415 and about £244. Said Carl: “Since this has been produced and distributed to drivers, it has encouraged them to make a reduction in idle time and to make cost savings.”

He added: “Since April, 2012, we have achieved additional cost savings for the company, encouraged drivers to identify the impact on the environment when keeping their vehicles running and at the same time reducing our carbon footprint.”