It is scary to switch off the car engine when sitting at traffic lights. But that’s what I was advised to do this week. If I did that at those lights where I know it will take ages for them to change and adopted a few other tips from professional driving instructor Denise Shepherd, then she calculated I’d save £250 a year off my fuel bills.
Drive With Confidence tutor Denise is one of the people involved in bringing home to drivers not only ways to save money by saving fuel, but also how this helps the planet by cutting carbon emissions.
In Denise’s own vehicle, which has duel control; I drove round the same circuit of city roads, twice.
My first foray showed on the monitor on her dashboard that I’d consumed fuel at a rate of 43.4 miles per gallon. On the second round that has improved to 45.2 miles per gallon.
‘Slow down when approaching lights,’ was the main message from Denise who operates generally around the Falkirk, Cumbernauld, Airdrie areas.
This was a preview for those people who’ve signed up for a similar Fuel Efficient Driving (FED) experience tomorrow and Sunday (22 and 23 October 2011) at the Glasgow Science Centre.
Over the next two months teams of people with similar professional background to Denise, will be explaining this to individual drivers in a personal training session. Most sessions cost £40, but early birds can save some money on this too if they get one of the £12 sessions of 50 minutes.
Said Energy Saving Trust transport manager Ian Murdoch: ‘Fuel Efficient Driving not only leaves you with more cash in your pocket but also a smaller carbon footprint. I urge anyone living in Glasgow to pop along this weekend to Glasgow Science Centre to find out a bit more. For anyone who can’t make it, give us a ring and we can book you onto a Fuel Efficient Driver Training Session. It’s amazing how people can save fuel and money by adopting a slightly different driving technique.’
Sign up on Saturday or Sunday or contact Energy Saving Scotland advice centre on 0800 512 012 to book a session.
By approaching traffic lights more slowly you are in a lower gear and so saving fuel. It also means the traffic behind has to slow down too which is an unexpected safety bonus. Anticipating road conditions and other road users’ moves, allows you to drive more smoothly. Rather than last minute braking, decelerate smoothly by easing off on the accelerator as early as possible. This allows the car to decelerate using engine braking. With the car in gear and the accelerator released, a modern car uses virtually no fuel at all. This form of braking is also gentler on the car and its occupants.
The Energy Saving Scotland advice network aims to reach 250,000 people every year and can be contacted for free impartial advice on: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland
A new £2.5 million head office for the West of Scotland Housing Association (WoSHA) was opened on Monday 13 December and hailed as further evidence of the regeneration of Glasgow’s East End in anticipation of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The new Camlachie House will serve as the base for one of Scotland’s most expansive housing associations, one that provides 3000 homes throughout Glasgow, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire. With the new Camlachie House in close proximity to the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, WoSHA had Commonwealth gold medal winner Robbie Renwick officially open the building.
The WoSHA and Glasgow 2014 have formed close ties since Glasgow was awarded the Commonwealth Games. After the event, land used for the athletes village will be passed over to WoSHA who will utilise the space to home approximately 150 families.
Duncan McNaught, WoSHA Chief Executive, is keen that his housing association should be involved in the opportunities that will accompany the Games. Said Duncan: ‘Looking ahead three years, we will take over 150 of the athletes’ houses after the Commonwealth Games for social housing and shared ownership but that won’t be the end of the development for the athletes village.
‘A further 750 new homes will be built in addition to the 700 built for the games, creating what can only be described as an entirely new community and we want to be at the centre of making that a community that people want to live and work in.’
Duncan believes that the new facilities at Camlachie House will have two main attributes. Firstly, he believes the new Head Office should facilitate an improvement to the standards of the homes provided by WoSHA. Secondly, according to Duncan: ‘Commercially, the Association will also benefit significantly. The efficiency agenda is just as relevant to us as everyone else.’
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said the prospect of a new community arriving after the games finish is a great thing for the East End of Glasgow. He told LOCAL NEWS: ‘The plans for the area will see social housing, rental property and homes for sale. There will be approximately 1400 homes under different tenures from public and private sectors. That area has suffered since manufacturing disappeared and a solution like this was needed.
‘There will be space for retail ventures that will create jobs and with the M74 extension there will be great transport networks, there will be a sustainable energy plan aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 65%. This new community opportunity is unique in Scotland.’
Duncan McNaught’s mood was ebullient. As Robbie Renwick showed the opening party his gold medal, after the formalities were over, Duncan said: ‘The East End is going to become an extremely important part of the city.’ The race for the property will start when the games finish.
Story by Grace Franklin Photographs by Stuart Maxwell
The Duke of Rothesay started it in Glasgow yesterday.
Aiming to encourage people to START to do what they can to make better use of natural resources and protect the environment, Prince Charles is making a whistle-stop tour of the UK in a train fuelled by recycled cooking oil, to visit good examples of what is being done already.
START – is a co-operative of partners who have all started down the eco friendly line.
The initiative was launched in Glasgow with the Duke going walk-about among the stands in Glasgow Central Station.
After being welcomed by Lord Provost Bob Winter, he chatted with people in the crowd and made Nancy Gray’s day. From Shettleston, the 74-year-old is an avowed Royalist. ‘I just love the Royal Family,’ said the retired tailoress. But when
Prince Charles shook her hand and said he hoped he was not interrupting her day, she went all aflutter. Literally shaking with excitement, Nancy told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘I came here specially to see him.’ She followed the Royal entourage around all the stalls which highlighted what could be done to START looking after the planet better.
Price Charles – who is correctly addressed as the Duke of Rothesay when he is in Scotland – first dropped off a pair of his old green cord trousers into the Oxfam clothes recycling point.
Waitrose showed off their new trolley which can be borrowed by customers from their Byres Road shop, starting this week. It is fitted to the customer’s bicycle and enables them to pedal home with a big amount of shopping.
Cube Housing Association was able to illustrate their new district heating scheme on the Wyndford Estate in Maryhill. The cost effective system delivers low-carbon energy and reduces carbon emissions in a whole neighbourhood.
Virgin Money had a wish tree to get people to promise to do something – and they’ll come back to you in a month’s time to see if you’ve done it for the planet.
B & Q staff showed the Prince how they make peat free compost. ‘He was really interested in what we’re doing,’ said Douglas Szafranek.
Husband and wife team Alan and Hazel Tomkins were delighted to be presented with their award for sustainable business for their restaurants which include Gamba, Urban and Dining Room in Glasgow. The first such award from the START group, the company has worked to train staff in food safety, minimising waste and maximising on local produce. Said Alan Tomkins: ‘It is very special to have been recognised for this.’
Four young apprentices from City Building’s Queenslie training centre in Glasgow, explained to the Prince how they are building two different models of sustainable houses to test what works best. Said Laura Twigg (18): ‘He was interested in the fact that we used tyres as one of the building materials.’ Michael Connelly (17) commented: ‘It was a great honour to meet Prince Charles. I never would have imagined I’d meet a member of the Royal family one day.’ Naveed Mohammed (19) admits he’s been bragging about meeting the Prince since he knew he’d been selected for the START event. And Brian Docherty (17) found the Prince asked a lot of questions about the pipe layout in the sustainable houses.
Glasgow City Council had a large number of stands in their exhibition. Most noticeable was a Peugeot electric seven seater vehicle which came from Allied Vehicles in Possilpark and is one of the fleet of electric vehicles the city has purchased. Said Allied Vehicles managing director Paul Nelson: ‘The Prince was very interested in the project. Glasgow city has purchased 10 of these seven seaters and 30 smaller vehicles – called Peugeot Partners – from us.’
Quietly in the background, Richard Bellingham, Senior Research Fellow on energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, was pleased that a report produced by the Institute had brought together so many of the organisations in Glasgow which are STARTing to implement sustainability procedures. ‘By drawing in the right partners, the benefits will be real for the city and more likely to be supported and therefore, stronger,’ he said.
At the end of the tour, Jane Wood, Chief Executive of Scottish Business in the Community said that Scotland – home of the Enlightenment – should be proud of leading the way in carbon reduction and sustainability as instanced by the work shown on the stands the Duke of Rothesay had toured. She was wearing an eye-catching outfit designed by Joey Dee of Edinburgh and using 75% recycled materials.
Before Prince Charles boarded his train to go to Edinburgh where a similar exhibition was to be visited, he told the assembled crowd: ‘START is all about what each one of us can do for the benefit of our children and our children’s children. It can be really simple to make better use of natural resources. Each of the major sponsors of START have their own message because they know their own customers best. Through these initiatives we are leading by example and showing what can be done to make that first step to sustainability.’
He added: ‘Glasgow is good at working together. This will take the city forward to develop the brand Sustainable Glasgow.’