Fleets should not use thedelay in introducing theincrease in fuel duty as anexcuse to postpone action onpetrol and diesel costs. Cfcsays that a structuredapproach to fuel manage-ment should be adopted assoon as possible by ﬂeets who have not done so.
Allied Bakeries, a subsidiary of AssociatedBritish Foods, hasappointed Zenith VehicleContracts to manage its380-car ﬂeet on a fully-outsourced basis. AlliedBakeries will own the vehicles outright, while Zenith provides mainte-nance and accident management services as well as hire cars.
With the approval of joint venture partners Athlon Car Lease International andLloyds TSB Autolease,Brussels-based Fleet Synergy International (FSI)has begun rolling out plansto grow the business by more than 40% in 2008.
Chauffeur Drive ’08 willtake place at FarnboroughFive on April 20-21. Theevent is solely for members of the trade andconsists of three shows –a driving experience, a car exhibition and aneducational programmecovering the businessside of the industry.
Lloyds in news
Lloyds TSB Autolease hasbecome sole supplier tolease 1,700 Vauxhall vehiclesto regional newspaper publisher Newsquest in a four-year contract. Lloyds TSB Autolease developed a ﬂexible ﬁnance leasepackage tailored speciﬁcally for the contract.
Expert case study on fatal crash experience
A leading ﬂeet manager whoexperienced a police investiga-tion following a fatality involvingone of his drivers will speak about it to the industry for the ﬁrst timelater this month. The presentation, to take placeat the Risk in Fleet conference at the National Motorcycle Museumon April 22, reveals the behind-the-scenes efforts that can keepﬂeets safe from prosecution whenthe worst happens.Freddie Watts, ﬂeet manager of Ofﬁce Depot, will describe hisexperiences when one of hisdrivers became the ﬁrst in theUK charged with causing deathby dangerous driving while usinga mobile phone in 2004. Theemployee was jailed for three years.Part of the investigation lookedat the ﬁrm’s ﬂeet policy andparticularly its approach tomobile phone use. The court heard that the company had a strict policy outlawing the use of hand-held mobile phones whiledriving. It also ﬁtted vehicles with hands-free kits, but on theday of the accident, the driver was in a different vehicle without a kit available. Watts’ presentation is one of a number of case studies at theconference designed to help ﬂeet operators respond to the new Corporate Manslaughter Act.
For details, log on to www.riskinﬂeet.co.uk
BY JOHN MASLEN
A ﬂeet manager who slashed acci-dent rates and reduced costs witha zero tolerance approach to vehicle maintenance has hailedthe scheme as “the best thing Ihave ever done as a ﬂeet manager”.Chuck Ives, head of ﬂeet for Network Rail, introduced a groundbreaking scheme to ban vehicles from the road if drivershad not brought them in for servicing on time. The scheme is part of a widerange of initiatives focused onsafety that has led to a 30% reduc-tion in accidents and a signiﬁcant reduction in ﬂeet costs.Savings are being achieveddespite the extra costs involved inpolicing vehicle maintenancemore closely on the 8,000-vehicleﬂeet.“We are achieving a change indriver culture with this approach. Accidents are down and costs aredown. It is the best thing I haveever done as a ﬂeet manager,”said Mr Ives. “We are spendingless by doing more. If a hire vehicle is needed because one of our vehicles hasn’t been brought in for servicing and has beentaken off the road, then the costsgo on the budget of the depart-ment responsible. They soon start taking notice.”Mr Ives said management support had been vital in ensur-ing the success of the scheme andbacked calls made in
for ﬂeets to invest in formal train-ing for their staff. The entire eight-strong ﬂeet team at Network Rail has quali-ﬁed for a Certiﬁcate of Profes-sional Competence.“They are all professionals andstudied in their own time. Thecompany paid for it, but I wouldestimate we have made back our investment ten times over throughimproved performance,” addedMr Ives, who will be one of theexpert speakers giving a detailscase study on his ﬂeet at theannual Risk in Fleet Conference(
see panel below
Zero tolerancesecret of success
With the news that all residentialareas of Portsmouth are about tobecome 20mph zones, other city councils are now consideringfollowing suit.By the spring, vehicles onevery residential street in Ports-mouth will be limited to 20mph. This will make Portsmouth City Council the ﬁrst in Britain tomake all its residential roads20mph.Now the initiative, which isfunded by the Government andaimed at reducing the number of accidents in the city, hasprompted Norwich City Councilto conﬁrm it is exploring a similar scheme. Other councils areexpected to conﬁrm similar plansin the coming weeks. Alex Bentley, Portsmouthcouncil’s executive member for trafﬁc and transportation, said:“We’re sending a message to thereckless minority of drivers that they must drive safely.” While all Portsmouth’s resi-dential roads will have a 20mphlimit, most main routes will keeptheir current limits.Drivers’ lack of understanding of the links between CO
, taxes andfuel costs could be hitting ﬂeet budgets as well as their attemptsto reduce carbon emissions. A survey of more than 2,000drivers, most of whom werecompany car drivers, found that only 17% think that they will saveon fuel costs if they change their driving habits to produce lesscarbon dioxide. The survey, carried out by Alphabet, also found that just 15%of drivers plan to drive a lower-CO
car in future to save on tax.In addition, 88% of drivers didnot know how much CO
their car emits, and 76% did not know what Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) bandtheir car falls into.“Our survey suggests that eight out of 10 drivers are vague about the ﬁnancial advantages of reduc-ing CO
,” explained Alphabet director Mark Sinclair.“This implies that ﬂeets areunlikely to beneﬁt from cost savings offered by running moreefﬁcient vehicles unless they havestrict policy guidelines in place toensure that employees drivegreener cars.”For example, drivers who opt for cars emitting 145g/km of CO
instead of a typical 165g/km standto cut their fuel use by 12% andtheir company car tax by 20%. Their employer would alsobeneﬁt from lower businessmileage costs and National Insur-ance, future savings throughlower VED and more advanta-geous writing-down provisions oncars emitting less than 160g/kmof CO
.“Much more needs to be doneto make drivers aware of the linksbetween CO
and the costs of motoring – particularly the fuelthey use and the taxes they pay,”added Mr Sinclair.
Drivers’ ignorance could cost ﬂeets dear
Chuck Ives: groundbreaking