South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is to install a new system on its ambulances, which will save on fuel costs and in turn reduce emissions.
The dynamic speed control system will mean a vehicle’s speed is restricted when it is not on an emergency. The system, which only comes into operation when a vehicle is being driven under non-emergency conditions, works by altering the vehicle’s acceleration profile. It means vehicles not responding to an incident as an emergency will be restricted to 62mph.
Evidence from a trial carried out by SECAmb in the Chertsey area suggests that the Trust is likely to see a reduction of at least 10 percent in fuel usage across its fleet as a result of the changes with savings being used to further improve patient care.
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 half a million pounds 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.
As part of the roll-out signage will be fitted to the vehicles to inform other road users that the vehicle is limited when not on an emergency.
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.”