UMP launches Corporate Travel paper at a roundtable event in Newcastle

May 31, 2022

The Urban Mobility Partnership (UMP) launched its policy paper on Corporate Travel and Commuting at a roundtable discussion in Newcastle. The paper calls for businesses and public sector organisations to urgently reduce grey fleet usage in line with decarbonisation agendas and examines the problems of relying on personal private car usage for business travel, otherwise known as “grey fleet”, and offers key recommendations on how to reduce this and offer employees sustainable alternatives.

UMP is calling for a series of practical solutions and policy recommendations which can incentivise changes within employee business travel. These include:

  • Grey fleet reduction should be a key part of all local authorities and combined authorities’ clean air and transport plans
  • The requirement for employees to have access to a private vehicle should be removed from all employee contracts
  • Businesses should assess the variety of alternatives to grey fleet and work with local public transport providers, daily rental, car club and active travel providers to make alternative modes more accessible

UMP is also calling for interventions to national policy, which include:

  • Using the tax system to incentivise a move away from grey fleet practice, such as tax-free mobility credits to be used on sustainable modes of travel
  • Rules around Benefit in Kind Tax to be updated to allow flexibility for sustainable travel innovation
  • Government departments to provide guidance to public sector bodies and local authorities on how to provide alternative transport methods to cut costs and reduce environmental impact

The launch of the policy paper saw decision makers, industry representatives and key local and national stakeholders from across the UK come together in Newcastle to discuss ideas on how organisations can support employees to move away from privately-owned vehicles for commuting and business travel.

Steve Stewart, Founding Member of the Urban Mobility Partnership, said “As we look to recover from the pandemic and with many people returning to the office in some form, we want to ensure that sustainability and decarbonisation are at the forefront of business travel and commuting practices.

“We are excited to launch our policy paper, which calls for an urgent examination of the national tax system around business travel and offers practical guidance on how to promote alternative ways of commuting to the private car. We look forward to working with stakeholders across the country to help employees make that shift.

“There’s a real opportunity for businesses, local and national Government to work together to achieve their decarbonisation plans, support economic recovery, and to move towards a sustainable, multi-modal transport future.”

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