Fleet News

'Woeful lack of interest' in green travel initiatives

COMPANIES are coming under a barrage of criticism from the Government for their 'woeful lack of interest' in plans to reduce reliance on the car. Local authorities, NHS trusts and a few private firms are environmentally-conscious and financially responsible for travel plans for their workers, but most companies are not taking action, according to Government and environmental associations.

At a recent Association of Commuter Transport conference in London, about 100 delegates from businesses, hospitals and other major employers debated the implementation of green travel plans, a package of measures tailored to reduce reliance on the car. The conference marked the launch of the Government's guide to establishing green travel plans entitled 'A travel plan resource pack for employers' which has been compiled with contributions from 40 organisations including British Telecom, Boots, Birmingham City Council, Vodafone and Transport 2000.

But Association for Commuter Transport chairman Ian Chatfield highlighted that private companies - the traditional operators of large vehicle fleets - were in the main ignoring or were unaware of the potential for change. He said: 'Of the top 500 firms in the UK, I would be surprised if more than 10% were doing anything about implementing a plan, whereas among the big local authorities, it is between 30% and 40%. It is common for a company to spend time and money on ensuring their office lights are switched off, they use low-energy light bulbs and the air-conditioning is turned down, but so much more energy is used and greater pollution caused by staff travelling to the building.'

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