COUNCIL chiefs are being urged to do more to help protect the planet after it was revealed only a tiny fraction of their vehicles are eco-friendly.

New statistics show that fewer than one in 10 Renfrewshire Council vehicles are electric or hybrid models, with fewer than one in 20 operated by East Renfrewshire Council falling into this category.

From a fleet of 478 vehicles in Renfrewshire, just 40 are electric and none are hybrid – accounting for a mere eight per cent of the total.

A total of 419 of the council’s vehicles are powered by diesel, with a further 19 using petrol.
Meanwhile, just 4.5 per cent of vehicles owned by East Renfrewshire Council are eco-friendly.

Out of a total of 158, just 10 are electric and none are hybrid. The remainder of the fleet is powered by diesel.

Mike Rumbles, transport spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, is calling on public bodies to show leadership by demonstrating a commitment to cleaning up the air we breathe.

He said: “They won’t be able to do this alone. The Scottish Government needs to deliver a comprehensive plan for reducing transport emissions, including measures to support all public bodies in shifting to eco-friendly vehicle fleets.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokesman insisted it is committed to reducing emissions created by its fleet.

He said: “We’re placing a particular focus on electric and hybrid vehicles and, through working closely with Transport Scotland, we are now one of the leading local authorities in terms of fleet ratio towards low-emission vehicles. We are making significant steps in lowering emissions and our carbon footprint and will continue to make positive changes to our fleet wherever possible.”

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesperson added: “We are increasing the number of electric vehicles to our fleet, including small vans, and are moving our HGV vehicles to Euro 6 engines to reduce levels of harmful emissions.

“We also have electric pool cars at all our offices in Barrhead, Giffnock, Thornliebank and Eastwood and encourage our employees to think about the journeys they are taking.”

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