Yorkshire Dales National Park
Conserving the splendour, wildlife and cultural heritage
Established in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales National Park has outstanding scenery, a range of wildlife habitats and a rich cultural heritage. It’s a special place – a fantastic outdoor arena for recreation and peaceful relaxation and a haven for wildlife. Spread across 1,773 square kilometres, the Park is home to over 20,000 residents and welcomes around nine million visitors every year.
Maintaining Public Rights Of Way
In order to maintain and improve the Park there are currently two Rights of Way Improvement Plans (ROWIP) in progress. The Cumbria ROWIP covers the parishes of Sedbergh, Garsdale and Dent, whilst the North Yorkshire ROWIP covers the remainder of the Yorkshire Dales. Both projects are aimed at improving Rights of Way including access, maintenance and regeneration. As the majority of the National Park is privately owned, maintaining and improving Public Rights of Way involves working closely with the local landowners. The Yorkshire Dales National Park has a team of Rangers who provide this essential point of contact between residents, visitors and the National Park Authority.
In order to cover this geographically diverse region, the Park Authority supplies Area and Access Rangers with suitable vehicles. The Park Authority operates a 24-strong vehicle fleet that includes Land Rovers, Astra vans and a Nissan X-Trail. The Astra vans, for example, are allocated to Area Rangers, Access Rangers, who report to Area Managers, tend to do a lot more of the work on-the-ground, covering a vast area, and the Park Authority provides larger off-road vehicles for this job. This fleet is managed and maintained by Fleet Management specialists, Venson.
Working With The Experts
The decision to outsource its fleet management to an external supplier was taken seven years ago and nearly seven years on the Park Authority is still outsourcing to the same Fleet Management specialists - Venson. By entering into this partnership, the Park Authority has been able to focus on maintaining the beautiful landscape, equipping Park Rangers with well-maintained and safe vehicles in order to patrol the Park.
Joyce Whitley, Contracts Manager for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, takes up the story:
“Seven years ago we had our own fleet, but we found that maintaining these vehicles and ensuring that they were always available and roadworthy was a very time consuming and expensive process. As you can imagine, our vehicles cover an extremely wide area and at times some pretty tough terrain – reliability and safety are therefore key considerations. Constantly having vehicles off-the-road for repairs was costing the Park Authority a fortune. Outsourcing was a very attractive option, providing best value.
As a local authority we are governed by strict financial regulations. This means that when we finally decided to outsource our fleet management and contract hire, we were obliged to put this out to competitive tender across Europe. It is a pre-requisite for any local authority to choose to work with the supplier that provides the best value bid, so we can’t simply work with a company because we like the look of them.”
A Credible Company Providing A Competitive Tender
The Park Authority put the tender out across Europe, inviting various companies to bid. Venson tendered for and won the bid. The contract with Venson has just been renewed for third time, seven years on. Each time the contract came up for renewal, it was advertised again, with Venson providing the bid which gave best value to the Authority.
This partnership enables the Park Authority to guarantee to its Rangers that when vehicles are off-the-road, an alternative loan car will be provided. Through Venson, local garages undertake the servicing of the fleet and again provide loan cars, where appropriate.
The contract-hire management and equip-for-service agreement provides:
- Vehicle procurement, equip-for-service
- Mechanical and accident repair and maintenance services
- Comprehensive fleet availability management
- 24/7/365 vehicle response services
- Accident repairs
- Inspections, servicing, MOTs and a specialist collection & delivery facility.
Commenting on the success of the partnership, Joyce Whitley concludes:
“The productivity and savings that we have made, by not having to buy and maintain our own fleet, has gone back into the Authority’s central fund, ensuring that we continue to conserve and maintain the National Park to the best of or ability, within the given budget. This has a direct benefit to all the nine million tourists who visit the park every year.”
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