Van users may not be too impressed by the latest government grants targeting greener transport, according to The Fuelcard People. Steve Clarke, group marketing manager, was commenting on the announcement of £7 million in government grants for retro-fitting 439 buses with NO2 reduction technology. He said, “Anything that improves vehicle sustainability has to be good, but van and other LCV users might question the government’s priorities.”
The government says that its commitment to green transport has seen £2 billion worth of measures during the last five years. It will invest another £600 million in low-emission technology by 2020. Steve Clarke said, “As a leader in sustainability ourselves, we know that EU and other pressures on the UK to meet emissions targets should not be ignored. Some van users will think, however, that this should be a lesser spending priority for an economy still recovering from recession.”
He pointed out that UK businesses continue to pay the world’s most crippling duties on fuel, as well as high road and other taxes. “If the government is going to spend billions on transport issues,” said Steve Clarke, “it could start by using some of the investment to help UK business. Falling oil prices help our international competitors, but over half of British refuelling costs come from fuel duty, at 57.95 per pence per litre. Cutting that cost is just one way to boost our economy and most van users could suggest others.”
He said, “We must address sustainability, now and into the future. Nobody should question that. We should be questioning whether, here and now, there could be more immediately important ways to invest our taxes.”
Steve Clarke’s long experience in the sector makes him perfectly positioned to comment. The Fuelcard People, which itself has industry-leading sustainability certification, works with many thousands of van users every day. It remains the only organisation from the automotive sector to become an Official Partner of Cool Earth, the globally renowned environmental charity.