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Government CO2 cock-up

Published: 03 June 2007

Britain’s new eco-motoring scheme postponed

Plans to help Britain’s drivers choose the greenest car for their budget have been thrown into chaos, CAR Online can reveal. The launch of a new Government website for motorists – called www.actonco2.co.uk – has been cancelled just 16 hours before it was to go live. Amazingly, the Department for Transport (DfT) has admitted the eleventh hour delay was because it realised the CO2 data to published wasn’t accurate. A spokeswoman said: ‘This was obviously pretty central to the campaign. We hope it won’t be long before it can be launched but we can’t give a date yet.’ It might take some time – some of the data that’s supposed to help drivers pick cleaner cars was up to 50 per cent wrong…

'Spectacular mismanagement on an epic scale'

A project insider, who didn’t want to be named, told us: “This is spectacular mismanagement on an epic scale. This is supposed to be the Government’s flagship policy on helping drivers select an eco-friendly new car, and it’s in tatters at the moment. I’m sure it will happen at some point, but we’ve no idea when that will be.’ The website was to be part of a larger Government awareness campaign to promote CO2 reduction across a wide range of activities, including air travel. The idea is to provide customers with information to help them choose the best solution for each trip.

Most eco-friendly cars to be listed

The motoring website has been designed to provide drivers with details of the top 10 most eco-friendly cars in each segment of the market, from superminis to 4x4s and people carriers. Each can be cross-referenced against how much money the customer has to spend. DfT staff were creating the vehicle lists and were supposed to give car manufacturers a month to check their accuracy before they were put online. But the information finally arrived with the companies just two days ahead of the scheduled launch. Bosses quickly told the DfT how wrong the data was, and that’s when the event was postponed.

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