Fleet News

Plans to break logjam ignore green initiatives

THE Government has delivered a massive kick in the teeth to green fleets by including them in proposals for annual workplace parking charges of £200 per space and exposing them to unlimited levels of road-user charging. In a key response to consultation on its proposals for charges laid out in its 'Breaking the Logjam' document in 1998, the Government has set out a nightmare scenario facing all fleets.

Workplace parking charges of £200 per year per space are suggested as an example, although Transport Minister Lord Whitty has suggested figures as high as £416 a year. Fleets would buy a licence limiting the number of vehicles allowed to be parked on site with the cost set accordingly. Fines for exceeding the space limits could be half the annual charge for each vehicle per day, so with a £200 charge, five too many vehicles would bring a £500 charge per day.

Local authorities will be able to set parking charges and road-user charges with no upper limit, as long as they can argue the case for imposing them with the Secretary of State. Furthermore, charges can change between authority and between district, according to the proposals. It also gives no concessions for firms operating green fleets or running green commuter plans and transport plans or companies already charging for parking.

The document from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions says: 'The department is keen to see all employers develop travel plans. We agree that the parking levy will provide a direct economic incentive for employers to develop effective travel plans and to reduce employees commuting by car.' The response will form a key guide for MPs working on the committee stages of the Transport Bill, which will give the go-ahead to workplace parking charges and congestion charging.

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