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LETTERS to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Cynical, or near the truth?

THE SMMT is being somewhat disingenuous when it says business customers will benefit because they are using the same outlets (‘BVRLA threat to boycott code’, Fleet NewsNet, August 3).

Yes, business customers will use the same outlets as consumers, as they always have, but now – and this is what the SMMT in its response signally failed to disclose – business customers are specifically excluded from the benefits the code brings and that includes the right to use the complaint procedure.

Were I of a more cynical turn of mind, I might suppose that this had something to do with keeping down the overall number of complaints. How much better it would be if complaints were minimised by good service instead.

In the meantime, the BVRLA cannot possibly lend its support to a code that specifically excludes the drivers of our members’ customers.

The answer for the SMMT is quite simple. Remove the exclusion and extend the code to cover all customers. It really is that easy.

Robin Mackonochie

Opposing views on air-con demand

THE push for air-conditioning to be fitted in UK commercial vehicles makes a lot of sense.

I work in the fleet industry in Australia and the prospect of driving a vehicle without air-conditioning would be shocking to a ‘down- under’ driver.

It would never happen and, in any event, nobody in their right mind in fleet management would consider forcing a driver into such a dangerous vehicle. The lawyers would have a field day.

If the average temperature in the UK keeps going up and our winters at home keep getting colder, we might be able to send you some of our spare air conditioners. No such thing as global warming, huh?

Glenn Piggott
by email (Australia)

I WAS staggered and somewhat bemused by the Trade Union Congress’ (TUC) irresponsible attitude to the few days of pleasant warmth experienced during July (‘Heatwave sparks calls for air-con’, Fleet NewsNet, August 3).

If companies were provided air-conditioning in all their vehicles, it would probably be used unnecessarily for at least six months of the year and the energy cost, both to companies and the planet, would reach far beyond the excesses of the USA.

Now that the temperature has dropped by 15 degrees in less than a week, the spokesman at the TUC will doubtless be advocating super heaters and aviators’ jackets for everyone. Why do we no longer consider such matters sensibly?

John S Haggas
Chairman, The Valley Group

Is speed restriction the way forward?

SOME of the proposals put forward in the article ‘Green campaigners take up the carbon challenge’ (Fleet NewsNet, July 27) are sound, others less so.

If we were serious about reducing speed in this country, cameras are clearly not the answer, as they simply catch the unlucky and raise revenue. The death rate relative to traffic volume, statistically, hasn’t dropped since their introduction.

To allow the sale of cars, virtually all with 100mph capability, and ever cheaper cars capable of twice the limit and more, demonstrates a lack of commitment to any objective, with the consequent derision with which speed is treated. Initiatives such as indiscriminate speed regulation and attitude changing are both lost causes.

Buses and lorries are speed restricted, so why not cars? As the article points out, other objectives would then fall into place – reduced carbon emissions, lower-powered cars and lower traffic levels due to longer journey times.

New roads would not generate traffic, as has consistently happened to date. Noise levels would also reduce – a major benefit for those living within earshot of busy roads, a factor never mentioned.

Road deaths may drop, but the Transport Research Laboratory has said that speed, as a direct and contributory factor, totals less than 3% of accidents. The biggest cause of motorway accidents is driver fatigue and the biggest cause of all accidents is driver error.

Until we see draconian measures by the Government on this matter along these lines, rather than wonderful words and insignificant actions like minor road tax weighting against gas guzzlers, nothing will change – as has been the case for decades.

After all, if the sea is about to invade our shores, draconian measures may ultimately seem like a soft option.

Stanley Rooney
By email

Missing the point

WITH regard to the Forum response (http://www.fnn.co.uk/forum/) from Peak Performance, for us, this sort of response symbolises much that is wrong with the risk management industry and provides potential customers with an excellent excuse for not doing anything.

Risk management needs to be seen in the context of real-world activity and behaviour and not set on some rule-bound pedestal way up in an ivory tower. To suggest, as they do, that drinking is somehow more heinous when it’s done at an employer’s expense, rather than at the drinker’s, is surely missing the point and taking the ‘scare them to death’ marketing approach a tad too far.

Mark Edwards
Drive & Survive UK

The funny side of BMW plans

I FELL off my chair laughing when I read the article ‘BMW plans speed limit lookout system’ (Fleet NewsNet, August 3).

From my years of driving, I would suggest it’s not going to help some of the people who buy executive cars – they just need to understand the Highway Code.

Chris Eldred
European regional manager, Technology Services UK


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