In a bid to save on fuel costs and reduce emissions, ambulances will be speed restricted outside of emergencies.
South East Coast Ambulance Service Trust (SECAmb) announced the move to install a speed control system on its vehicles which will restrict it to 62mph.
The system will only comes into operation when a vehicle is being driven under non-emergency conditions.
SECAmb’s Head of Fleet Justin Wand said, “The decision to install this system on our operational vehicles will significantly reduce their fuel consumption and save public money. In addition, given the huge number of miles our vehicles cover, we know we have a duty to take our responsibility to the environment very seriously.
“This move is just one way which we can, to an extent, limit our impact as an organisation on the environment at the same time as making savings, which can be reinvested into patient care.”
The trust said evidence from a trial carried in the Chertsey area suggests a reduction of at least 10 per cent in fuel usage as a result of the changes. With the trust’s fleet covering approximately 17 million miles each year and fuel costing around £6m a year it is hoped the total savings are likely to equate to more than £500,000 every year.
By altering the vehicle’s acceleration profile, wear and tear will be reduced and ride comfort for both patients and crews is expected to improve.
The system, which will be rolled out across SECAmb’s Kent, Surrey and Sussex region over the coming months, will first be fitted to the trust’s A&E vehicles. It will then be installed on the trust’s patient transport vehicles and other support vehicles in its fleet.