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Letters to Fleet News' editor Martyn Moore.

Spend ‘car tax’ cash locally

With reference to your article on road pricing schemes, I seem to remember, in the early 1960s, my boyfriend (now my husband) paid his road fund licence on his old A40 Somerset at the local motor taxation office here in Plymouth.

The garage where we worked taxed the new vehicles in Exeter.

My recollection is, though I could be wrong, that all the motor tax money went to Devon County Council’s highways fund for improving its roads.

This, I am given to understand, was the case all over the country.

Why and when did the car tax money go to the Government for its ‘general’ fund?.

All car tax money should be used only for roads. Road tolls money should be for that particular stretch of road’s upkeep.

People with cars don’t mind paying for something if they can see the result – i.e well maintained and new roads. The Government already takes enough tax in petrol duty.

 

SUE COTTER
Purchasing department, Fine-Tubes

Bring back genuine spare tyre

Rather than offering the Continental tyre repair kit as a prize (Fleet News, January 24), you should be lobbying car manufacturers to bring back the real spare tyre – full size or even a space saver would be nice!

This sudden fad for not having a spare of any sort and instead supplying a bottle of green gunk and a mini compressor seems totally absurd.

It is not really helpful on the side of a motorway when, by the time you’ve stopped, the tyre is a shredded mess, especially when it’s a 19-inch tyre and a replacement is not easily sourced.

One of my drivers had a blow-out while in France.

He had no spare, just the gunk. He was forced to book into a hotel for the night because he couldn’t get hold of a new tyre.

Where’s the sense in that?

If the manufacturers are so concerned with saving money, a spare should be offered as a priced extra.

I’d take one every time.

And as for run-flats, don’t get me started!

NICK WELCH
Fleet co-ordinator, Corporate services, Pinnacle Insurance

Time full bulkheads were fitted to vans as standard

With regard to Trevor Gelken’s report on the launch of the Citroën Nemo, Fiat Fiorino and Peugeot Bipper, these three new entrants to the LCV market are interesting, look good and should prove very popular.

I have two observations however, on the standard specification of the vans.

Firstly, where is the all important, factory-fitted full metal bulkhead?

Doubtless not considered important enough elsewhere in Europe, but this surely is a ‘must have’ for any British fleet now?

After all the media interest in corporate health and safety and manslaughter issues of late, is it not about time a full bulkhead was fitted as standard?

My second point concerns the small capacity diesel engines.

Doubtless they are very environmentally friendly with excellent carbon footprints and fuel economy.

However, it is becoming noticeable among large fleets how the incidence of engine failure is increasing with the advent of the small diesel engines.

Power output is presumably down to fuel pump pressure, making a small engine work very hard.

It will be interesting to check the maintenance figures when considering wholelife costs for vans covering between 80,000 and 100,000 miles – quite normal for many fleets.

One thing is becoming clear in the used market today, though – small diesel-engined vans with engine problems at this mileage will not make their target residual values.

DAVE WOODS
Managing director, XBG Fleet Remarketing

Motorists taxed out of existence

I read your article (Fleet News, January 24) about traffic levels and the statement at the end by a Department for Transport spokesman made me smile – “We are spending £2.5 billion on buses this year, £88 million a week on trains”.

Surely, with this level of expenditure, there will be no need for private cars/haulage because it will provide a wonderful infrastructure with transport when and where we need.

Not only this, but with the ever-increasing charges to travel within London and the expansion of congestion charges to other cities, we are being taxed out of existence.

Coupled with the impending Low Emission Zone (LEZ) charge (starting next week) for lorries above 3.5 tonnes, this begs the question “Where is all this money going?”.

With regard to the LEZ set at £200 per day, the cost of this for just one lorry travelling four days a week within the M25 zone will be £41,600 per year.

I will leave you to work out the huge revenue this will generate for Transport for London.

We, the public, will have to bear this cost at the tills. I guess the reply will be: “We need this money to provide the cameras and infrastructure to monitor, etc...”

I accept that we are contributing to CO2 emissions, but when is the business world going to say enough is enough and adopt some sensible policies with real benefits.

BRIAN K RICHMOND
Transport co-ordinator, Kneesworth House Hospital
Partnerships in Care
 

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