Fleet News

Wrangle over white paper 'grossly unfair to fleets'

MIXED signals coming from the Government as ministers wrangle over the forthcoming integrated transport white paper are 'grossly unfair' to the fleet industry. The Government should not hide behind statements which leave fleet managers unsure about what the future holds, according to Stewart Whyte, director of the Association of Car Fleet Operators.

He was speaking after Transport Minister Gavin Strang and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott added to uncertainty about what is in store for fleets with differing statements about the white paper. Strang seemed to suggest that curbs on company cars would not be appearing in the much-delayed document.

Speaking at the launch of Transport Trends, a Government study of travel over the past 50 years, Strang said: 'High-earning car owners need have nothing to fear from next month's white paper. There is no question of our discouraging car ownership. We want to reduce car dependency and usage.'

Prescott was reported to have said: 'The white paper will give us a radical approach to get people to use cars less and public transport more. I have brought about a number of radical solutions to transport problems and the radical approach will continue.'

But Whyte said delays in producing the white paper and continuing speculation on what it might contain do nothing to help the long-term vehicle strategies of the fleet industry.

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