Road safety targets omitted from manifestos

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With less than two weeks to go until the UK goes to the polls in the 7th May general election and the political parties have yet to provide answers to some of the key concerns facing fleet operators, according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

Its examination of the manifestos published by the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Green Party has found some positive policy proposals, but also highlighted the lack of attention paid to several major issues. The SNP manifesto had not been published at the time the research was undertaken.

“Aside from some welcome commitments to roads spending and tackling emissions, there is a lack of bold, progressive policy measures that might galvanise Britain’s drivers and fleet operators,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.

The BVRLA is particularly concerned about the lack of attention paid to road safety. None of the parties have made any pledges to introduce road safety targets, enhance the reporting of work-related accidents, increase enforcement or provide improved guidance to fleet operators and drivers.

Mr Keaney said: “An estimated one-third of all accidents are work-related, yet politicians continue to demonstrate their apparent total disregard for the huge social and economic costs that ensue. No targets, no guidance and no reporting is a recipe for continued work-related carnage on our roads.”

The Liberal Democrats were the only party to respond to the BVRLA’s requests to come up with more effective motoring tax incentives promoting ultra low emission vehicles. They say they would reform Vehicle Excise Duty, and add a separate banding for new diesel cars.