Fleet News

Car-charging considered

MAJOR figures in the fleet industry gave a cautious welcome to the introduction of congestion charging in central London during a 'question and answer' session at the Association of Car Fleet Operators' annual meeting.

Rob Atkins, national contract manager for the Environment Agency, said: 'It is likely to have an effect in reducing congestion. It will start to change people's perception of what is an essential journey. It will be a cost to businesses but it will change people's attitudes.'

Richard Dykes, former chairman of the Work-related Road Safety Task Group, lives on the edge of the proposed ring. He agreed it would cut traffic in the centre, but added: 'The Government has to do something serious about public transport. I think the popularity of the scheme will be affected if there is not a change to public transport.'

Gill Garrett, UK sales co-ordinator of Premiere Products, who was named fleet manager of the year (sub-100 vehicles) at this year's Fleet News Awards, said: 'It will have an effect, but long-term. If the revenue taken from congestion charging improves public transport, something positive will have come out of it.'

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