Fleet News

MP blasts Government over 'green' tokenism

THE Government's efforts to introduce alternatively-fuelled vehicles on to its fleet have been dismissed as pure tokenism. Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Norman Baker MP said that more than six months after the Government unveiled its integrated transport white paper there were still only a few alternatively-fuelled vehicles on its vast fleet.

Of the total Government fleet, estimated at about 20,000 vehicles, there are 33 vehicles which run on liquefied petroleum gas - a further 72 vehicles have been ordered - and two which run on compressed natural gas. Yet meanwhile companies are under increasing pressure to convert their fleets to alternative fuels, with PHH Vehicle Management telling fleets that if they refuse to switch they face being forced to by taxation and legislation. It has been advising clients on the benefits of alternative fuels and so far has seen more than 200 models running on LPG joining fleets, dwarfing Government efforts in a matter of months.

Baker first hit out at the Government last year when he accused it of failing to heed its own 'green' message. This followed months of questions to the Government in the House of Commons from Baker and fellow Liberal Democrat MPs on what action it was taking to become more environmentally-friendly.

Baker said: 'When we carried out this research it was obvious the Government was failing to practice what it preached, and now it seems it is continuing. Some local authorities are already running more alternatively fuelled vehicles than this, so it is clearly possible. Any increase in alternatively-fuelled vehicles has to be welcomed, but I cannot help feeling this is just tokenism.'

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