The government has announced it will team up with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA – the sector’s leading trade body), to tackle the UK’s major transport issues.
While UK public transport has arguably become significantly more effective in 2015, a number of issues including congestion, emissions and accidents remain. According to Fleet News, an online transport industry publication, Whitehall recently told BVLA members that it will collaborate with the UK’s vehicle renting and leasing industry to develop solutions to these pressing issues.
BVRLA’s chief executive Gerry Keaney recently attended a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons, along with transport minister Robert Goodwill and other MPs. He presented Goodwill with the sector’s recommendations for how the government should tackle the UK’s most significant transport issues. BVRLA called on Whitehall to:
- Develop a UK-wide framework detailing urban clean air zones, in order to supply fleets with certainty and consistency.
- Encourage the adoption of autonomous emergency braking and making it mandatory for this technology to be fitted in all new vehicles.
- Look into the possibility of adapting current and existing road designs to encourage smoother traffic flows. BVRLA argues that this will reduce accidents and the hold-ups that follow, which increase NOx (a highly poisonous gas) emissions.
- Endorse the further encouragement of car clubs throughout the UK’s major cities. The Association says that this will reduce emissions and congestion, by minimising unnecessary car journeys.
- Keep supporting the take-up ultra-low emission vehicles through the plug-in grant for all new electric cars and vans.
- Consider providing in-life incentives for drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles. According to BVRLA, this could include free or subsidised parking or green express lanes in congested areas, which would encourage the take-up of electric vehicles.
After BVRLA made these suggestions, the government revealed that it will keep supporting a revised version of the plug in car grant. Under this policy applicants can receive as much as £5,000 off the list price of an eligible car. However from 1st March 2016, vehicles with a zero-emission range of over 70 miles will be able to apply for a grant of £4,500. Furthermore, vehicles with a lower zero-emission range will be able to receive £2,500, as long as they cost under £60,000.
Commenting on this announcement, Keaney said: “We are delighted that the Government has addressed this issue, which has been one of our key policy priorities during 2015. This common-sense decision gives rental and leasing companies the confidence they need to continue leading the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.”
He went on to say: “We look forward to working with the relevant Government departments to ensure our contributors’ input is given proper consideration. Acting upon these recommendations would have a major impact in terms of reducing congestion, emissions and accidents while promoting the take-up of new, safe and sustainable transport.”
The UK’s transport sector has come so far in the last few decades, but issues such as congestion, emissions and accidents continue to impact public travel efficiency. By inviting recommendations from BVRLA on how to tackle the country’s biggest transport problems, and acting one of them already, Whitehall has suggested that it’s committed to providing the country with a streamlined, efficient transport network.
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