Fleet News

Fulfil your commitment, fleets tell Livingstone

FLEET managers are pressing newly-elected London mayor Ken Livingstone to fulfil his commitment to consult them before introducing congestion and workplace parking charges. Throughout his election campaign, Livingstone warned that once in office he would hit motorists by charging commuters £5 a day to travel into the city.

He would, however, consult on this and on the introduction of workplace parking charges. His aim is to reduce traffic levels in London by 15% by 2010. The squeeze on fleet drivers is likely to be increased with Livingstone's decision to offer Darren Johnson, mayoral Green Party candidate, the environmental portfolio within the new administration. A spokeswoman for Johnson insisted there would be a period of public consultation before charging was introduced.

But she said: 'The figures we've talked about include charging £5 a day for driving into London and if that didn't reduce congestion sufficiently, perhaps £10. We are also looking at workplace parking levies of £3,000 a year per space.' The inner city speed limit would also be cut to 20mph. Martin Hannan, car fleet manager of computer software firm Logica UK, based in north-west London, said: 'As long as Livingstone fulfils his commitment to consult on congestion-tackling measures - and that must include fleets - I'm willing to help him.'

Keith Wilkinson, fleet manager for House of Fraser, said: 'First impressions are worrying.' Anne Grainger, fleet manager for Overseas Courier Service, said: 'It is worrying hearing Livingstone saying he is happy to bring in a paper-based charging system, which hopefully won't be too expensive. We can get company car users to take the train but our vans operate 24 hours a day, so it will be a nightmare for us.'

Tom Byers, car fleet co-ordinator of Ove Arup Partnership, west of the city, said: 'Our 250 staff entitled to cars use other means to commute into London. If the Government is willing to fund the congestion-tackling initiatives Livingstone is proposing, we're all for it.' Livingstone formally begins running London on July 3.

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