However, despite representing a combined total of about two million motorists, neither the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association nor the Association of Car Fleet Operators have been asked to take part, with many believing fleet's place has been taken by the National Federation of Women's Institutes. Fleet managers have been unanimous in their condemnation of this decision, with David Lee, fleet manager at John Laing, saying: 'Anybody that excludes the largest group of motorists is just posturing. Having the WI on it is a joke.'
Martin Hall, fleet and insurance manager at the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, said: 'Considering the make-up of the new car market and the percentage of it which is fleet, there should definitely be someone from a trade organisation representing us.' Peter Wallis, car fleet manager at Carlsberg Tetley, said: 'It is quite horrendous for fleet not to be included on the forum.'
Alan Hocking, fleet and supplies manager at Humberside Police, said: 'I can understand the WI being on the forum because women motorists need a higher focus.' Phil O'Brien, fleet manager for Severn Trent Water, said: 'Fleet is one of the cornerstones of the motor industry and the Government gets a lot of revenue from it. We have more of a vested interest in transport than the WI - how many WI members drive 20,000/30,000 miles a year ?'
Steve Hunter, fleet manager for Centrica, said: 'I am fleet manager for British Gas Services and the AA. I will have a voice through the AA, so there will be some fleet input. However, there does seem to be scope for fleet managers to be involved and I expected ACFO to be part of it.' Helen Carey, chairman of the NFWI, said: 'We have been campaigning for integrated transport since the 1960s and I will be speaking on transport in all walks of life.'