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Your opinion

Letters to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Action needed to cut lorry hold-ups

I spend much of my time travelling along the two-lane section of the M11 trying to retain the will to live as I queue up for miles – and I think lorries overtaking each other are to blame.

More specifically, I have concluded that the queues are caused by a combination of their speed governors and tyre wear.

Lorries are fitted with highly efficient diesel engines capable of accurately holding their governed speed at approximately 56mph.

However, the governors do not allow for tyre wear. Therefore, a lorry fitted with a brand new set of tyres will go slightly faster than an identical lorry with a worn set of tyres. It is obvious that nearly all overtaking manoeuvres by speed governed lorries will cause an unacceptable delay.

What can we do about it?

  • Make it illegal for governed vehicles to overtake on two-lane motorways or dual carriageways at times of heavy traffic flow.

  • Make it illegal for governed vehicles to pass more than one vehicle in any single overtaking manoeuvre on two-lane motorways or dual carriageways at any time.

  • Make it compulsory for governors to be linked to global positioning satellite equipment to ensure that the speedometer automatically re-calibrates and remains accurate as the tyres wear.

    My preference is the third option because if the governed vehicles were all travelling at exactly the same speed, they would never catch each other up and the problem wouldn’t arise.

    Project engineer, James Development Co

    Charity does help fleet managers

    We have been asked whether fleet managers, who manage company car fleets for employers who may not be part of the motor industry, benefit from BEN.

    As a general rule, BEN helps people who earn their living from the automotive industry and the dependants of these individuals.

    However, each case that is presented to BEN is individually reviewed and in this instance we would first wish to ascertain if the individual is a full-time fleet manager and has had an established career in this field.

    It is worth noting that even if the person approaching us for help does not meet our criteria for financial assistance, our welfare team will always offer advice and direct the individual to other agencies that are able to assist.

    There are many ways in which BEN offers help and our services are aimed to meet the needs of lots of different people, so we are flexible. Sometimes, this will mean working alongside other charities and benevolent funds.

    Chief executive, BEN

    Road pricing ultimatum

    I am doing my best, as a motorist who enjoys cars and driving, to stay on the fence with regard to the issue of road pricing.

    Is it just another tax or is it a genuine attempt to reduce congestion and our dependency on cars?

    I have decided that my opinion will be decided by the outcome.

    If road pricing is introduced and congestion, pollution and car use falls, then I will be forced to admit (even with an empty wallet) that the means justified the ends . Although how this success will affect the economy is another matter.

    However, if congestion, traffic pollution and car use is unaffected, then road pricing will be proven to be just another form of taxation.

    Through your media outlet I would say let us all challenge the government, and ask the press, transport associations and the public to issue an ultimatum.

    If the government is true to its word and road pricing is not a tax, it should make us a promise that its failure would result in its abolition and that alternative methods other than charging would be given greater consideration.

    By email

    Not all bad news for van drivers

    I have just read the article in the letters section (Fleet News, May 24) regarding taxation on vans. While not disagreeing with the bulk of the comments, we have been aware for some time of the new rules and also aware that the rate would equate to a £15,000 car.

    The notion that we should allow restricted private use of, say, 500 miles, introduces another element of control and I am sure the telematics industry will fully support this view.

    As for abolishing the BIK altogether, van drivers already get free travel to and from work and do not attract any fuel charge, unlike company car drivers, who pay both.

    With regard to the safety issue, I believe it is more likely that the van will be overloaded than the estate car, as can be seen by the numerous ‘white vans’ on the roads with the rear end kissing the tarmac.

    Bowmer & Kirkland, Belper, Derbyshire

    How to find a true value

    I have to value fleet cars for sale that are only 12 to 18 months old with up to 60,000 miles on them. I use valuation guides to ascertain how much the car can be sold for but I am often told the car is too expensive or too cheap. It seems that the motor trade live in a world that only they know about in terms of valuing cars.

    Can anyone advise me of a more accurate way to obtain valuations please, or alternatively tell me how I can enter the secret world of the motor dealer without actually being one?

    Transport manager, Airparks Services

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