By Amanda White 06 July 2011
The world of Fleet has not stood still this past week; ABD comment on the Tories broken promises, oil prices dip, roads that cars can read and a top ten driving tips list for driving in the dark are just some of the most interesting news items rounded up for you here.
First to the ABD's comparison of Conservative promises over the last 13 months to the actual reality of their actions. The Association of British Drivers believe that the Tories have broken all promises made regarding fixed speed cameras and have allowed "back door" funding from profits garnered from speed awareness courses (after insisting back in 2009 that authorities would have to "find the money themselves"). The ABD also point out that the Tories said that information on speed cameras would be made public, thereby giving communities control of their use or decommissioning and that no such information has been forthcoming. The ABD accuses the Tories of paying mere lip service to this issue, with no deadline set or sanctions made to enforce "polite requests" made to the camera partnerships they promised to abolish.
"We expect average speed cameras to continue to be used to enforce reduced speed limits during motorway road works but we will stop the roll-out of average speed cameras on urban roads," commented Theresa Villiers, the now Minister of State for Transport, back in October 2009.
What are your views on this? Do you agree with the ABD's comments? Have the government broken their promises and are local councils being allowed to ride rough-shot over supposed road safety measures? We would love you to leave your comment.
On a more positive note, but no less controversial, the ABD also commented this week on the completion of the M74, with Peter Spinney (ABD Regional Coordinator for Scotland) stating that "the completion of this motorway will prove to be a great boost for jobs and tourism, not just in Glasgow, but far to the west."
Oil prices dip
A recent dip in oil prices may have caused a frisson of excitement with an expectation of this being translated at the pump but Steve Clarke, general manager of The Fuelcard People warns that history shows crude oil prices don't remain lowered for long and many filling station owners can't risk reducing prices as, by the time the cheaper oil reaches the forecourt, the price of crude has once again risen.
Let's take a quick look at how fleets are aiming to reduce costs:
Reducing the fleet fuel bill
In a bid to reduce their fleet fuel bill, with no price drop seemingly on the horizon, Zenith Hygiene Group has installed TomTom's WORKeco technology to their entire fleet of cars and trucks with the hope to making operational costs lower whilst their green credentials soar.
Salary Sacrifice Scheme
Meanwhile legal practice Norton Rose are utilising Zenith Provecta's 'NR Cars' Salary Sacrifice Scheme to benefit its UK employees and hopefully provide them with a cost effective way of running and maintaining their vehicles.
250 jobs created in the Midlands
Good news this past week came from a new partnership from E-PPL and Autoscan, both based in the Midlands, which has resulted in the creation of 250 new jobs over the next two years. The companies will still continue to trade as independent businesses, one a provider of skilled staff and the other a provider of product inspection and validation to the auto industry. There are plans however to offer a plethora of services under one umbrella.
By strategically aligning the companies with the 'two brands, one business' mind set, we can offer a much wider range of support to the current customers. OEM vehicle manufacturers and their supply chains have never been able to find so many solutions under one roof before," commented Paul Simmerson, CEO and Owner of E-PPL and Autoscan.
Let us now turn to safety issues in the news with the announcement that EuroRAP and Euro NCAP have joined forces to rally the motor industry and the highways sector to work together in ensuring the potential of emerging technologies such as "Lane Support", which keeps vehicles from drifting out of lane position and "Speed Alert", which ensures speed limit changes are never missed, are achieved.
The two road safety giants look forward to the "Roads that Cars can Read" becoming a reality for all road users in the future. A paper has been produced (of the same name) mentioning that whilst huge sums are spent on developing technology, basics such as clear road markings and signs are ignored, effectively making this new safety technology redundant.
"A century after the cat’s eye was invented, technology is again driving this rethink of how the road ahead can be read safely," commented John Dawson, Chairman of the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP).
The news of this partnership comes at a time when road charity Brake revealed at their international conference that each year 1 in 60 young male drivers will be involved in a crash that will kill or injure, causing not only pain and suffering, but considerable economic burden.
Julie Townsend, Brake's campaigns director outlined the organisations call for a new graduated driving license scheme citing the following statistics, which showed how risk-taking among young male drivers is critical:
What do you think to this proposal? Would you be in favour of a graduated driving licence scheme?
Whilst safety experts call for existing signage to be kept better maintained, Confused.com is petitioning the Department of Transport to display its newly designed pothole warning signs. The idea was Inspired by Kent pothole crusader and plumber Ted Relf, who erected home made warning signs outside his home in 2010, which were duly taken down by the local council. Confused.com commissioned signage expert Phil Baines from Central St Martins, University of the Arts London to design the sign and have begun a pothole sign petition on its website.
Here is the result:
IAM have again this week offered the expertise of top British advanced driver Peter Roger. Here are his top 10 tips on driving safely at night:
And finally... Three women have begun the 'Bold and Gracious Tour' travelling from Oxford across Europe to Reggio Emilia, Italy on a ride-on mower!
The 30 day tour, covering a gruelling 2000 kilometres, is being undertaken by Margherita, Francesca and Giulia to celebrate the strength of the women, the sturdiness of Alpina ride-on mowers and the toughness of Kohler engines.
Their progress can be followed in real time on www.bg-tour.eu with Margherita writing their blog in three different languages, Francesca uploading photo’s of the journey onto Flickr and Giulia contributing real time videos.
All of us at the FleetDirectory.co.uk would like to wish these three women good luck and a safe passage!
That ends this week’s fleet related news round up, which we hope you found informative, interesting and just possibly a little entertaining. If you have any views regarding the above stories then we’d like to hear them, please leave your comments below. Until next week…
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