UK’S 1ST ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CHECK FOR CARS
environmental health check for petrol cars has been launched this
month in Wallasey. targetneutral, the UK’s 1st mainstream
scheme to “neutralise” CO2 emissions caused by driving, has
teamed up with automotive experts Kwik-Fit to create the
environmental ‘car surgeries’, a first in Britain.
targetneutral is a voluntary, non-profit making partnership
initiative from BP. As well as offering the opportunity for
petrol motorists to offset CO2 emissions from their cars, the
targetneutral scheme encourages drivers to follow the Reduce,
Replace, Neutralise philosophy. Drivers of petrol cars wanting
to help ensure that their car is causing the minimum amount of
impact can now take action with this 10 minute, totally free check
with no obligations (other than to the environment). Petrol car
drivers simply need to call-in to any Kwik-Fit MOT centre. Most
checks can be performed while you wait, 7 days a week. To find your
nearest testing centre, go to targetneutral.com.
The Green Light check for petrol cars which will be available at 250
Kwik-Fit MOT centres nationwide until March 3 2007, will help
drivers to reduce their cars’ emissions through a free 4-point ‘Green
Light’ health check.
The free 4-point check includes:-
· exhaust emissions – an increase in carbon monoxide in your exhaust
emissions can indicate inefficient fuel burning which results in
greater fuel usage, therefore increasing overall CO2 emissions
· emission control systems – sending too much fuel to the combustion
· tyre pressure – under inflated tyres increase rolling resistance
and fuel consumption and therefore increase CO2 emissions
· battery levels – under-charged batteries use more fuel, increasing
Motorists can then visit targetneutral.com to access a free online
carbon calculator which will work out the amount of CO2 their
driving actually produces. If they wish, they can then neutralise
the impact their driving has on the environment. The average annual
cost is just £20 a year.
Sheila Williams, spokesperson for targetneutral, said:- “This
nationwide scheme gives motorists easy access to practical
environmental car health advice and helps them understand how small
adjustments to their cars can have a big impact on reducing their
Chris Bosworth, Marketing Director for Kwik-Fit said:- “The
‘Green Light’ environmental health check is an initiative between
targetneutral and Kwik-Fit to enable motorists to take individual
action to drive more efficiently and reduce emissions. We hope
motorists across the country will give their cars the ‘Green
Light’ this month."
Under the targetneutral scheme motorists can offset their carbon
emissions by visiting targetneutral.com. Money generated by
targetneutral goes towards a portfolio of independent CO2 reduction
projects including alternative and renewable energy. Existing
projects include a biomass energy plant in Himachal Pradesh, a wind
farm in Karnataka, India and an animal waste management and methane
capture program in Mexico. As targetneutral grows, more projects
will be added.
RESIDENTS REVEAL DISABLED PEOPLE FIND CHIP AND PIN HARD TO USE
Leonard Cheshire’s Freshfields Home in Formby took part in a
national survey which reveals that disabled people are being let
down by financial services, shops and the Chip and PIN system.
Participants from the Leonard Cheshire service in College Path
carried out audits of cash machines, banks and shops and offered
helpful and friendly advice on how accessibility could be improved.
The national report, ‘Spending Power?’, found that 54% of
disabled people surveyed across the UK had problems using Chip and
Pin machines. The report, released on the one year anniversary
of the full introduction of the Chip and PIN card, also shows that
35% of disabled people would prefer to return to their old signature
cards. Common -problems reported with Chip and PIN included poor
keypad accessibility and a feeling vulnerability when entering their
PIN. 57% of those surveyed found that the cash machines they
used were inaccessible. This is despite disabled people in the UK
having a combined spending power of £80 billion.
‘Spending Power?’ investigates disabled people’s experiences
of using Chip and PIN cards, cash machines, banks and shops, and
looks at how easy it is for them to access and spend their money.
Ron and Janet Fazackerly have lived at Leonard Cheshire’s
Freshfields service in Formby since 1980 and took part in the recent
audits of local financial services. Ron says:- “I have
to sit side on when at a cash machine so refused a Chip and PIN card
as I think it would be too public. I also find it virtually
impossible to see the screen or buttons. Even if I could see it, my
hand shakes and the buttons are too small and too close together for
me to press them.”
Janet says:- “I didn’t bother applying for a Chip and PIN card
as I knew it would be no use to me. I can easily remember a 4 digit
number but I’m worried I’d be too slow pressing the buttons because
of the way my hands move. I wouldn’t want to make a mistake and not
have the card accepted – that would be embarrassing, especially in a
shop with a queue behind you.”
Lee Webster, report author and Leonard Cheshire campaigns
coordinator, says:- “Shopping is an everyday part of life for
most Britons. There are 200 million cash machine transactions a
month and 160 Chip and PIN purchases a second.”
Leonard Cheshire is calling for:-
* Clear accessibility guidelines to be developed for the Chip and
PIN port and keypad.
* Card issuers to
provide more information to disabled customers about alternatives to
the Chip and PIN system, particularly Chip and Signature.
* Cash machines to be
designed and placed with the help of disabled people
* Banks to talk
increasingly to their disabled customers about problems within
branches and how things could improve.
Leonard Cheshire has produced some tips for banks and retail
outlets, with suggestions for making services more accessible.