Environmental impact, mobility management and road safety must all become core elements of the job, the Minister believes. And Ladyman promises that fleet managers will get more support from the Department for Transport to achieve safer, cleaner, better-run fleets.
He said: ‘The fleet manager of 1985 bears little resemblance to that of 2005.
‘And there are further changes to come. The job will continue to broaden and evolve in Britain as companies realise the growing importance of fleet and transport management.
‘The fleet manager will become more of a transport and mobility controller – coping with all the travelling needs of the workforce – from fleet acquisition and upkeep, contract hire, disposals, to booking rail or air journeys for employees, or linking people through video conferencing.
‘These are all functions of efficiency, of cost-control. Functions that affect the bottom line.’ He praised fleet managers for the job they are doing but added that with about nine people killed on the roads daily, even more needed to be done.
He said: ‘Around 1,000 road deaths a year involve people who are working. That’s still too high and so we are urging fleet managers across the country to be more proactive about improving road safety.
‘We cannot succeed on our own. Everyone who uses the roads has a role to play and that puts you, the fleet manager, in the front line of the fight to improve road safety.
‘Of course, some of the more enlightened employers and fleet managers have been successfully managing occupational road risk for decades. They realised early on that the advantages of a responsible road risk strategy overwhelmingly outweighed the disadvantages.
‘Yet, even today, many companies and organisations are still failing to operate occupational road risk schemes.
‘That has to change. Laws governing health and safety at work also apply to people who drive at work. Road risks should therefore be effectively managed within a health and safety programme.’ Ladyman was speaking to fleets at the Lloyds TSB autolease Agenda for Action conference, and promised that the DfT would put in place funding and a programme to support fleets in achieving better road safety and environmental results, although it was too early to say what would be offered.
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