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Roads and congestion are top priorities for government, say fleets

New research has revealed fleet and mobility managers’ top transport priorities for the Government – with improvements to roads and congestion sitting squarely at the top of the list.

Almost half (47%) of Arval’s respondents listed road improvements as the top transport priority for the Goverment, followed by improvements to congestion (45%)

Research carried out by the Arval Mobility Observatory this year included a question to UK fleets on “What areas would you like the Government to concentrate on with regards to transport?”. Almost half (47%) of respondents listed road improvements, followed by 45% wanting congestion to be improved. More than a third (34%) wanted companies to be incentivised, whilst only 27% called for public transport improvements and 18% wanted a reduction in pollution caused by transport.

Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “Difficult traffic conditions are something that many businesses face every day and it is a subject that is obviously front-of-mind in an operational sense. If cars and vans can’t get around easily, it affects the fundamental efficiency of road transport.

“It might be fair to say that the current government is more favourably disposed towards major road investments than any we have seen in a while, so it will be interesting to see if there is a perception over time that congestion is improving – although the nature of these schemes is that they take a long time to come to fruition.”

Sadlier added that while fleets had indicated they were willing to use more public transport, further research was needed into what businesses wanted.

“To some extent, what businesses appear to want from public transport is something that replaces existing travel options without any or much compromise in terms of convenience and cost. The real-world conversation that perhaps needs to happen is around how much, if any, inconvenience and additional cost they are willing to bear in order to make any switch.

“Of course, some of this dialogue needs to cover not just the journeys themselves but also the ease with which they can be taken – for example, through the usage of apps that allow easier comparisons of different forms of travel, including public transport, over the same routes.”

Earlier this week, Arval revealed that Mobility Observatory analysis had shown that business drivers still prefer their company car to alternative mobility options. Fewer than one in five (18%) of UK businesses believed their drivers would give up their company car for a range of other options, including a mobility budget, car sharing, ride sharing or a mid-term rental arrangement. Additionally, just one in 20 said their drivers would give up their company car for a non-car solution.

Interestingly, while the latest Arval research showed just 18% of businesses said the Government should make work on air pollution a top priority, Sadlier said it didn’t ring true from the company’s work with fleets.

“What it may instead reflect is the fact that much is already being done in this area – from zero Benefit-in-Kind on electric vehicles to the creation of Clean Air Zones. There is already considerable action underway.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.