Fleet News

New Government faces first major battle over transport

PRIME Minister Tony Blair has provoked the first major transport battle of the new Government amid claims that transport was snubbed in the Queen's Speech. Last week's announcement of the Government's agenda for action over the next Parliamentary session was savaged by opposition MPs because of a lack of action on transport.

A Safety Bill that aims to make transport operators and employers more responsible for the safety of their workers and the travelling public was outlined in the Queen's Speech, but there is no sign of the much discussed proposals for corporate manslaughter legislation. Fleet NewsNet revealed last week that fleet decision-makers have at least one year before the Government introduces a new law on corporate killing that could see fleet executives in the dock — and potentially sent to prison if found guilty — because of the actions of their drivers.

But Blair issued a 'watch this space' warning to the fleet industry, claiming there was still plenty of room to add new Bills. He told Parliament: 'It is always the case that many more Bills are introduced than are listed in the Queen's Speech. Many of the provisions that people have mentioned are ones for which we can legislate if we have the time.'

John Redwood, Conservative MP for Wokingham, attacked the lack of action on transport, commenting: 'My electors said to me that during the past four years they had observed no improvements in public transport facilities. The Government did not reduce the number of car journeys, because there was no alternative.'

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