Eleven Citroen C3 hatchbacks and one Picasso mpv have been selected for a year-long pilot project by The Countryside Agency. The Citroens, the first cars to be acquired by The Countryside Agency, will be based at eight of its offices in England.
Here, at these selected offices, the C3 1.4HDi Desires and Picasso 2.0HDi Desire, will be used as pool cars by officers of the Agency. In this application they replace a mix of spot hired cars and use of the officers’ own vehicles.
The decision for The Countryside Agency to acquire its own pool cars was made after an initial three month pilot project arranged in conjunction with Citroen and Activa Contracts. This proved that real economies could be made and the pilot operation was extended with the current acquisition of 12 new Citroens, which will be operated for one year. If this longer-term pilot project continues to deliver transport cost benefits the scheme will be extended to other Agency offices with a need for their own cars.
The initial batch of Citroens is being operated on 12 month, 21,000 mile, with maintenance Activa Contracts’ contract hire agreements. James Grierson, The Countryside Agency’s contracts manager, explains, "At the heart of The Countryside Agency’s pool car strategy were three key conditions which the Citroen C3 met. The cars had to have low emissions, provide value for money with low cost of operation and be suitable for our purpose, with optimum levels of safety and comfort."
The Countryside Agency plays a multi-faceted role working to improve the quality of life for people in the countryside. As such the Agency, a statutory body, works to improve access to mountains, moors, heath and other common land, provides financial and other assistance for various rural projects including transport, the setting up of new business enterprises, the supply of essential services and the like.Published 7 December 2003