Fleet News

Queen honours top fleet chief

THE Queen has rewarded the innovative and pioneering fleet management skills of one of Britain's top fleet managers with the OBE in her Birthday Honours list. Double Fleet News Award-winning fleet chief Stan Ayling, head of transport and travel at the Inland Revenue, said the award was recognition for the commercial fleet practices he had brought to the 2,000-strong fleet, which have saved taxpayers millions of pounds.

However, the award also recognises Ayling's wider fleet management skills, which have seen him rapidly expand the 'Whitehall super fleet' deal from its initial concept involving the Inland Revenue, Department of Social Security and Employment Service to 24 Government departments. Such measures have, in the past 12 years, seen Ayling stamp his mark on initially the Revenue's fleet and latterly fleets throughout Whitehall with a series of innovative initiatives.

These include the 'Whitehall super fleet' deal which most recently saw Ayling sign a £78 million deal with six manufacturers to supply at least 6,500 vehicles to 24 Government departments and funding a driver training scheme for Inland Revenue company car drivers through savings made by switching to a fast-cycle fleet operation.

Such initiatives won Ayling in 1996 and 1998 the Fleet Manager of the Year (Large Fleets) Award at the annual Fleet News Awards and this year he was one of the judges for both the vehicle manufacturers and fleet supplier company awards.

It is believed to be the first time that a fleet chief has been honoured by the Queen. Ayling said: 'I have never been afraid to take a chance. Fleet managers should not stand still - they should be innovative and they must get support from their superiors. I have chanced my arm but I have had support. Bosses have got to realise that if they give someone a job to do they should also give them the ability to take decisions.'

When Ayling moved into the Inland Revenue travel and transport hot seat, he inherited a 480-strong pool car fleet. It now numbers around 2,000 vehicles.

On Wednesday, Ayling hosted a party for staff who, he said, were 'thrilled and delighted' by his honour.

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