Fleet News

Government's proposals get 'no confidence' vote

FLEET managers and drivers have given a massive vote of no confidence to the Government's measures to cut congestion and pollution. A survey launched by the AA to gauge the reaction from the fleet industry to the Government's 'green' initiatives, outlined in the White Paper on Integrated Transport last year, has revealed widespread opposition to practically all its proposals.

Cornerstones of the policy - including road user charging, workplace parking charges and a continuing increase in levels of fuel duty - have been slated throughout the fleet industry, according to the survey. Behind the resounding opposition to most of the Government's plans are fears that they will be 'bad for business' and simply lead to higher prices for customers.

Responses from 700 fleet managers, company bosses and company car drivers reveal that 71% of those questioned were opposed to the use of tolls on motorways and trunk roads, with those fleet managers questioned almost unanimous in their opposition. Congestion charging was attacked by 69% of those questioned, with only 17% showing support. Of the fleet managers who responded, almost none gave a 'yes' vote. The pattern of opposition continued with charges for entering city centres, with 62% either opposed strongly or opposed to any levy, although 26% either supported or strongly supported such schemes.

But the initiative which most galvanised the opinion of fleet bosses was workplace parking charges, with 81% against compared to 10% in support. Despite this wall of opposition to taxes on workplace parking, it is the most likely starting point for local authorities wanting to raise cash if they are given the power through Government legislation.

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