Government halves fleet costs with car pool scheme
The Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening (Inset), announced a 44% reduction in costs with a large number of cars assigned to non-Cabinet ministers defleeted. Run by the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA), the fleet of allocated cars across all Government departments was reduced from 78 to 13 last year. Spend for the period 1 April 2010 – 31 March 2011 was £3.8m. This includes £0.7m of spend during the previous administration. In 2009-10 the spend was £6.7m.
Greening said the figures included unavoidable costs associated with contractual termination notice periods.
She added: ‘To reduce the cost of the Government Car Service to taxpayers, the Ministerial Car Pool was introduced in September 2010 and, from that date, replaced the allocated service for non-Cabinet Ministers in line with the Ministerial Code published in May 2010.’
According to the GCDA, non-Cabinet ministers are permitted to use an official car for official business and for home to office journeys within a reasonable distance of London on the understanding that they would normally be carrying classified papers on which they would be working. Where practicable, they are encouraged to use public transport.