Fleet managers are being advised to embrace technology if they are to combat the increasing levels of congestion on the roads of the United Kingdom. The Department for Transport (DfT) predicts that by 2030, the number of vehicles on the road will have increased by between 25% and 30%.
The Automotive Council has published a report recognising the increasing role of intelligent transport systems used by fleets, such as real-time vehicle tracking and they also predict that these will need to interact with both new and emerging technologies. Nearly 84% of goods bought online are delivered using the UK’s road network by vans which are protected by commercial vehicle insurance and it is vital that the transport networks do not become clogged or gridlocked. Effective transport infrastructure, which enables drivers to move freely around the country, says the report, is a necessary ingredient of a successful economy.
Transport secretary Justine Greening said “We’re making great headway on the environmental impact of road transport. Improvements in fuel efficiency and the development of hybrid electric vehicles mean that, despite an increase in traffic, CO2 emissions are set to fall significantly over the next 25 years. But perhaps our biggest challenge, given its economic, environmental and social cost, is making sure we tackle congestion. That means we all need to focus on solutions – be they managing demand, enabling travellers to make more informed decisions about their journeys and making the best use of existing networks and capacity.”
Currently, the DfT is investing more than £1 billion to tackle areas of congestion and improve the national road network. This is on top of the £2.3bn planned investment in major roads that was recently announced in the ministry’s spending review. The Government is also collaborating with Innovits and MIRA at a research and development centre located in Nuneaton. The team of researchers hope to develop, test and refine future transport technologies. The report emphasises that increasing road capacity while tackling congestion requires everyone to use a more intelligent approach in managing the road network and the vehicles that ply their trade on it.