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UK businesses face gridlock, says Europcar

A survey of over 300 businesses by leading vehicle rental company, Europcar, has revealed the impact traffic congestion is having on an already struggling UK economy. Over 70% of businesses said that congestion is impacting the effectiveness of their staff travelling for work and 80% said they felt that congestion on the UK’s roads is getting worse.42% of respondents comprising fleet managers and travel managers from a range of business sectors estimated that as much as 20% of every business journey was spent in traffic congestion. A further 29% thought the situation was even worse, estimating that as much as 30% of every journey was time lost due to the sheer weight of traffic on the roads.

David McNeill, Corporate Sales Director, Europcar says: “Congestion is clearly having an impact on the nation’s economic profitability at a time when businesses are really under pressure to be as cost-effective and efficient as possible.”

He added: “While significant investment has been made in our road network it simply isn’t enough and the jury’s still out on the Government’s plans for road pricing and High Occupancy Lanes on motorways. But what is certain is that we drastically need better measures to ease congestion. Anyone who has been trapped nose to tail on the M25 on a Friday afternoon can’t fail to agree with this view.”

“Certainly at Europcar we are working with customers to address some of these concerns, from identifying opportunities for staff to share journeys and cut fuel consumption to monitoring and managing better use of vehicles. But what this survey has clearly shown is that we must all take responsibility to identify the ways in which we can reduce congestion on our over-stressed road network. Challenging times lie ahead and the survivors will be those that tighten their belts and explore all the options to work as efficiently as possible.”

Europcar is the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rentals. Since March 2007 with the acquisition of Vanguard EMEA (National & Alamo brands), its network comprises over 5,300 rental outlets in 160 countries. Europcar serves business and leisure customers throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. Excluding franchise operations, in 2007 Europcar signed more than 10 million rental contracts, with 7,700 employees and a fleet exceeding 215,000 vehicles.