Fleet News

Fleets face red tape nightmare

AN increase in red tape is set to raise the amount of data handled by fleets by an enormous 10,000% over the next decade.

Duty-of-care responsibilities and the launch of national road pricing could dramatically force up the amount of data fleets have to deal with on a daily basis.

Software company cfc solutions predicted two years ago that the amount of data would rise by a factor of 30 over the next 10 years – but the fast pace of change has meant company bosses have revised that figure to a multiple of 100.

Bosses say that when the prediction was made in 2003 plans for road-user charging and duty-of-care guidelines had not been announced.

Andy Leech, sales and marketing director at cfc, said: ‘We believe our initial prediction to be a huge underestimate. What has really made a difference are two factors – duty of care and the Government’s plans for national road charging. These two requirements alone could create a tidal wave of fleet data.’

Leech says fleets need to lobby the Government to ensure that new initiatives are backed by fleet-friendly technology.

He said: ‘Whatever fleets may think about the principle of road charging, it does provide a golden opportunity to adopt a whole new approach to fleet management.

‘We could be looking at a much more advanced type of fleet management than is currently possible and, because it ‘piggybacks’ the road charging infrastructure, it could be achieved in a very cost-effective manner.’

The Government has already announced plans to invest more than £200 million a year in a transport innovation fund as one of the first moves towards a national road pricing system for Britain. Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman said: ‘It is vital that we engage in the debate on road pricing.

‘We are looking at whether road pricing will change people’s behaviour. If it didn’t and just became a revenue collection device, it wouldn’t reduce congestion so there would be no point doing it.’

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