General Election 2017: Fleet industry’s six-point plan for next government
The General Election is only a few weeks away (8 June), but whichever party secures a majority, it will have a job on its hands to drive down emissions, improve road safety and make road transport more cost efficient.
Thanks then that the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has set out a six-point plan for the incoming government as part of its Fleet and Mobility Services Manifesto.
“The fleet industry is the lifeblood feeding the vital organs of the UK economy. It is the trucks taking parts to our factories and stock to our supermarkets; the vans delivering parcels to our SMEs and plumbers to our houses; and the cars transporting salesmen to their customers and holidaymakers to their destination,” says the BVRLA in its manifesto.
The six-point plan, which covers emissions, air quality, road safety, Brexit, red tape and connected cars, is as follows:
- Carry out a wholesale review of company car taxation, recognising the benefits of company cars in terms of reduced emissions and revenue to HM Treasury
- Build on the recently published Clean Air Zone Framework for England by providing additional guidance to ensure consistency in terms of standards, enforcement, timescales for introduction and penalties for non-compliance
- Introduce a flexible and targeted diesel scrappage scheme, which provides assistance for companies looking to replace or retrofit older, more polluting commercial vehicles. This scheme should also incentivise private car owners to swap their existing car for a pure electric alternative, or give up their vehicles to use more sustainable modes of transport such as car rental and car clubs
- Encourage and incentivise the fitment of Autonomous Emergency Braking and other technology proven to have a demonstrable impact on reducing road accidents
- Remove the need for commercial vehicle examiners to be directly employed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, and provide HGV testing via the same MOT testing model available for private cars and light commercial vehicles
- Set up a Mobility Data Hub to provide a neutral voice advocating and providing guidance to realise the full potential of connected vehicles and their data. This would ensure fleet operators, OEMs and third-party suppliers can share data in an open, secure and fair way
Commenting on the launch of the manifesto, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “It is essential that the new government understands the vital role our members’ huge purchasing power can play in delivering safer, sustainable and more cost-efficient road transport.
“Policymakers face a real challenge, not just in terms of Brexit, but also in how the UK embraces the move towards data-driven mobility services. We believe this manifesto will ensure the big issues for our industry aren’t forgotten about.”
The BVRLA will be sending copies to each of the three major political parties ahead of the General Election on 8 June.