Cupar could soon have its very own environmentally-friendly chip fat fuelled community taxi.
Sustainable Cupar’s energy group is in the early stages of developing a plan to buy a London cab or similar vehicle, and convert it so it can run on used fat from local takeway restaurants.
The group has already received backing for its project from the Green Insurance company which has awarded it a ‘Green Grant’ of £1600 to get the idea off the ground.
Alison Milne, who leads the energy group, said she was delighted with the funding and said it will be used to buy the equipment needed to convert the fat into fuel.
“We have been looking at a big energy project for Cupar including establishing a water wheel but found it wasn’t feasible.
“So, when one of our members Tom McMillan came up with the idea of a community taxi we thought we’d pursue it and were quite surprised to get a grant when the idea really is at a very early stage.
“The money will help us take the idea forward.
“At our next meeting we will be looking at buying a vehicle and we would like to get something like an ex-London cab which would stand out a bit in Cupar.
“This would be a very localised service and not set up to challenge our local taxi firms.
“Sustainable Cupar wants to encourage people to leave their cars at home, so we hope this taxi could help people make very short journeys, for example, to Cupar or Leuchars railway stations.
“We would hope it could simply be a ring up and ride-type service.”
Alison said the group would welcome any offers from anyone who has a garage where the fat could be converted, as well as volunteers who would like to be trained to drive the cab.
The green initiative has several environmental benefits.
Not only will the community taxi prevent gallons of used cooking oil from being dumped in landfill, it will also ensure less fossil fuel is used in running a taxi service in the area, therefore cutting the amount of carbon dioxide produced.
The Sustainable Cupar Community Taxi was selected from almost 600 funding applications received to the Green Grants website.
The judges selected 18 worthwhile projects around the UK to receive funding up to £2000 each.
June Lynch, managing director of the Green Insurance Company said: “We’ve been really impressed with both the number of Green Grants applications we’ve had and the quality of the projects.
“The community taxi initiative is a great example of this, a project with a strong environmental message, community involvement and a sustainable future.”
The next energy group meeting takes place on Wednesday, January 25 and anyone interested in more information on the community taxi project is asked to call Alison Milne, tel. 07734970907.
For details on Sustainable Cupar visit the website www.sustainablecupar.co.uk