Fleet News

Get the bus, DETR tells civil servants

CIVIL servants face drastic reductions in their mileage allowances as part of a dramatic Government shake-up designed to force employees to use public transport. In a secret document called 'Greening Operations Annual Report', the Department for the Environment, Transport and Regions has created a blueprint for all other Government departments to follow.

A copy obtained by Fleet NewsNet details the plans which the DETR wants to see introduced across all Government departments, which between them run a fleet of about 20,000 vehicles. As part of the integrated transport white paper Government departments must implement 'green transport plans' for all headquarters and main buildings by March of this year, and for all other buildings by March 2000.

Staff mileage rates are 34p a mile for 1.0-litre to 1.5-litre cars, 43p for 1.5-litre to 2.0-litre cars and 47p for cars over 2.0 litres for the first 4,000 miles. Rates drop to 19p a mile, 23p and 30p respectively over 4,000 miles. Car mileage reimbursement rates are one of the key issues raised in the document and the DETR admits there will be reductions in the near future. A DETR spokesman said bicycle mileage rates were presently 6.2p a mile and that figure could increase as a result of the proposals.

He added: 'It's obvious that the only way to increase the use of public transport is to cut mileage allowances for cars. In the future staff will have to justify why on a journey they are not using public transport before making a car mileage claim.' Last year DETR staff clocked up 778,300 miles on official business using their own vehicles. Employees driving vehicles on the DETR's 671-strong fleet amassed more than four million miles.

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