Fleet News

Edinburgh in road toll plan

EDINBURGH'S local authority has announced details of its proposed congestion charging scheme.

Under the proposals, two schemes will be created – an inner one operating all day and an outer one charging motorists at peak rush hours.

Edinburgh City Council said the scheme – due for a 2006 launch – would raise considerable funds for new transport projects and reduce congestion in and around the city.

It pledges that all net revenue raised will be spent on transport schemes and would be in addition to existing funding. It estimates that the new scheme could reduce congestion by more than 50% in the city centre and 30% in the city as a whole.

A number of other cities have been looking to follow London's example, with Birmingham and Bristol as front-runners.

A UK vehicle-tracking provider has warned commercial fleet operators to be extra vigilant during the Christmas period, as opportunist thieves will be on the lookout for valuable cargo.

Commercial vehicle crime is increasing annually by about 5% according to statistics from crime research group Eurowatch and NavTrak believes fleets carrying lucrative loads such as alcohol, electrical goods and luxury foods are most at risk.

Giles Harridge, managing director at NavTrak, said: 'NavTrak offers the ability to instantly detect any vehicle that is moving illegally and can immediately alert the relevant authorities.

'The sooner a stolen vehicle can be recovered, the less opportunity thieves have to damage it, strip it or unload any valuable contents for personal gain.'

SAAB has made its 9-3 range more fleet-friendly for 2004 with reduced emissions and better fuel consumption, thanks to the addition of a six-speed manual transmission in Aero and diesel models.

The six-speed gearbox in the 2.2TiD model improved cruising refinement, with carbon dioxide emissions reduced from 177g/km to 174g/km, allowing the car to fall into a lower benefit-in-kind tax band, while fuel consumption on the urban cycle is improved by 0.3mpg to 31.7mpg.

The high-performance Aero model also improves, with an 11g/km reduction, bringing the standard six-speed version down two BIK tax bands to 207g/km, while the no-cost option five-speed version is further improved to 202g/km.

Saab has also introduced more trim, colour and alloy wheel choices for 2004 and a Bluetooth phone option. P>

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