Maintaining flexibility of business transport is ‘key to future mobility strategies’https://fleetservicessummit.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Business-Transport.jpg 960 640 Stuart O'Brien Stuart O'Brien https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/81af0597d5c9bfe2231f1397b411745a?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Maintaining the flexibility of business transport will be the key challenge facing fleets as future mobility strategies start to take effect, says FleetCheck.
Noting the publication of the Government’s Future of Mobility Urban Strategy, the fleet software specialist says it is important to keep journeys as simple and effective as possible.
Peter Golding (pictured), managing director at FleetCheck, explained: “We fully support the ultimate aims of the Government in improving air quality, reducing carbon emissions, cutting congestion and making cities more pedestrian friendly.
“However, we must not lose sight of the fact that the success of fleets in underpinning business comes from their sheer usability. You can get into a car or load a van and drive straight to your destination. This is especially true of multi-stop journeys.
“Ultimately, anything that undermines this core tenet needs to be treated with extreme caution. While fleets must play their part in the future of mobility and meeting the Government’s environmental and social aims, we must also work to ensure that businesses continue to enjoy the benefits of flexibility as much as possible.”
Golding added that this did not mean that the industry shouldn’t be positive about mobility strategies – for example, last mile zero-emissions delivery strategies were an excellent idea – but that everyday fleet journeys were not easily replaced.
“We are actually very enthusiastic about last-mile delivery and, to us, it appears to be a good solution to the air quality problems in urban areas. During the next few months, we are hoping to be working with some of our customers on this development.
“However, it needs to be recognised that many multi-stop journeys, such as a sales person in a car visiting three locations in a day, or a technician in a van servicing a dozen different sites, simply cannot be displaced by any other transport method.
“The cars and vans used for those applications will change over the next few years and we have great hopes for the ultimate level of adoption by fleets when it comes to electric vehicles, but those journeys require one vehicle and one driver.”
Golding said that there also needed to be much more detail about some of the ideas within the Government’s document, as many of them appeared to already be in operation to some degree, if not in all parts of the country.
“There is mention of using technology to cut congestion and make journeys smoother, but no real explanation of how this might be done in a way that is substantially better than existing sat nav and traffic monitoring services.
“Also, there is quite a lot of promotion of flexible transport provision but, in most cases, it is difficult how these represent substantial advances over existing Uber-style taxis, cars clubs and short term hire. Again, any benefits appear to be incremental rather than revolutionary.
“However, we look forward to seeing how the contents of the document play out in the real world and working with the Government and the fleets that use our software to reduce the impact of business transport over the coming decades.”