The 19-strong group of motor industry leaders was chaired by Roy Harrison, group executive director of Tarmac, and included Ford of Britain chairman Ian McAllister, Dr Pelham Hawker, sales and marketing director of Johnson Matthey, Mike Horlor, head of road transport strategy at the Royal Mail, and Mike Brian, director of Lombard North Central. The interim transport report - a final report will be produced early next year - focuses on four areas:
The report says a balance must be struck between environmental concern, social requirements and business competitiveness and gives a tough warning to the Government against annually increasing fuel duties saying: 'The fuel duty escalator should not be the sole instrument used to encourage both greater vehicle fuel efficiency and the use of other forms of transport. Otherwise there will be a significant increase in business costs, harming UK competitiveness, but with no guarantee of reduced car use.'
The report, which will be considered by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott as part of the white paper being produced on an integrated transport policy, also calls on companies to attach greater importance to the fuel efficiency of vehicles and says it should be 'one of the first considerations when purchasing vehicles'.