The response follows comments from Katharine Robinson, transport consultant and an adviser on the Government's Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme, who had become aware of the increasing anger among officials at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions that fleet managers criticised rising fuel prices while wasting millions each year through failing to monitor fuel use.
The DETR was said to be particularly 'fed up' following a survey it had carried out of 235 fleets, involving some 18,000 vehicles, that showed only 10% of fleet chiefs knew their vehicles' total fuel expenditure. But Alan Hocking, fleet and supplies manager for Humberside Police, said: 'The majority of fleet managers I speak to in the police force and with private firms know what fuel they are using.'
And David Lee, who manages John Laing Construction's 2,500-vehicle fleet, said: 'If anyone from the DETR wants to come out of hiding and look at my fleet I would be glad to show them the lengths I go to ensure I'm running an efficient operation. And I can't believe I'm in a minority in wanting to keep this business operational and making a conscious effort to choose the most efficient cars.'