The total cost to the council of mileage claims is significant – achieving even a modest reduction would result in a worthwhile financial saving.
Private car travel does make a considerable contribution to the smooth running of Council services and reimbursement of legitimate mileage claims will continue. However, going forward, team leaders and managers will help their staff adopt the most efficient working practices and check that claims for mileage reimbursement are appropriate and proportionate.
Mileage reduction checklist
Managers, team leaders and individual mileage claimants can use this list to help them decide whether private car travel is the most cost-efficient and appropriate way to achieve the required result:
- Could better planning eliminate the need for the journey? Could tasks requiring travel be combined so that overall mileage is reduced and several single-purpose trips are avoided? (Some work is more difficult to plan and/or requires a greater degree of spontaneous responsiveness. Managers of staff who undertake work of this type will take this factor into consideration in considering the legitimacy of mileage claims)
- Could the trip be avoided by better use of technology? Interrogation of Google Streetscape, for example? Using telephone or video conferencing as an alternative to a face to face meeting?
- Could the journey be walked or cycled? Walking or cycling should always be considered for appropriate length journeys, especially those to other nearby Council offices/sites. There are 4 pool bikes available – 2 electric – for use by staff for business journeys. Registration and booking is via the Co-wheels website. Full Terms & Conditions can also be found there. Demonstration of use of the e-bikes for new e-bike members is required before your first booking: this takes approx 20 mins and can be easily arranged. Please contact Sean Ventress (ext 2877), or Ben Tunney (ext 3118), to arrange the demonstration.
- Could the journey be undertaken by Metro or Bus? Metro Business Passes are available for use between 9.30 and 5pm. A pass can be obtained my making a request at main Ground Floor Reception. If no passes are available, please email TravelSmarterGateshead@Gateshead.Gov.UK and provide your name and extension along with the time and date of the non-availability (this will help us assess whether more metro passes are required). There are also 10 Go Ahead Key Card bus passes available for travel between 8am and 7.30pm (Purple Zone) covering all of Gateshead except the Chopwell area, plus Newcastle city centre. Many locations are easily accessible along main bus routes, including Low Fell, Birtley, Wrekenton and Felling. The passes can be picked up from and returned to main reception, ground floor – just take along your Council ID card
- Is there a Co Wheels pool car available for the journey? If there are none available, could the journey be postponed until there are? If you attempted to book a pool car/electric car but none were available, please register non-availability with Lesley Craig on X2568 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Assessing lack of availability will help us to gauge whether we need to increase capacity.
Further details on some of the options available to help reduce car travel are available on this website. Please email us at TravelSmarterGateshead@Gateshead.Gov.UK to discuss them further, or if you have any suggestions on how we can reduce mileage claims overall.