The Minister for Transport, Rosie Winterton, has called on the fleet industry to engage more with her department.
She told the industry the decisions the fleet industry makes have a major impact on policy decisions.
She revealed that her department is planning policies that will affect the fleet industry in particular.
“We will set out a broad array of measures that will impact on the fleet sector,” she said.
However, before these measures are introduced, she wants more dialogue with the industry.
“You have an influential voice in the debate on transport and the environment,” she said.
“You make up one of the most important stakeholder group. Your views matter.”
As a result of her wish to enter into discussion with the industry, Fleet News has organised an exclusive interview with this influential minister – who has a portfolio covering cities and regions and so will be instrumental in establishing and overseeing local road pricing.
It is road pricing that is on many fleet managers’ minds.
After the allocation of the Transport Innovation Fund monies – £200 million per year – and the assessment of how local authorities who adopt road pricing have performed, national road pricing is expected to follow.
The minister assured fleets each local system will be interoperable with drivers needing only one in-car tag and receiving only one bill, even if they enter several different zones.
But fleet managers remain sceptical about the interoperability of different systems, or whether a car with CO2 emissions of 120g/km or less could enter London for free but may be subject to one charge in Manchester and yet another one in Cambridge.
There is also the question of what to do with the £20 billion that has not yet been allocated for transport initiatives from 2014-19.
The minister also stressed that the fleet industry must help achieve the Government’s target of a 60% reduction in CO2 from cars by 2030.
“We will provide you with the legislative framework to allow you to run cleaner fleets,” she said. “We are working with fleets to bring cleaner cars to market.”