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EXCLUSIVE: MP in licence check push

Date: 17 November 2009   |   Author:

Stephen Ladyman

A senior Labour MP is to push for better fleet safety standards within Government following BusinessCar's exposé earlier this year, which revealed only one department was implementing best practice on driver licence checks.

Labour party vice chair Stephen Ladyman is set to formally raise the concerns over Government departments' poor record of licence checking at-work drivers in parliamentary questions later this month.

Ladyman is to table a series of questions to Government departments asking what processes they're following for employees driving at work, in the wake of BusinessCar's investigation this summer that found massive inconsistencies in driving licence checks, with only one of the 21 departments probed under the Freedom of Information Act following the Government's best practice advice.

BusinessCar was invited to meet Ladyman in Westminster after our exposé, and was accompanied by senior ACFO members John Pryor and Nigel Grainger to make the case.

"I wasn't surprised they weren't doing it," Ladyman said. "It was clear to me when I was transport minister they weren't doing it.

"The Government car service ought to set an exemplar and be the best practice, but I didn't find any evidence of that among senior management," he said. "And as an MP, no-one has ever checked my licence. When I claim expenses I have to tick a box on the form to say the car's owned and maintained by me, but that's it."

The parliamentary questions will be tabled after the Queen's Speech on 18 November, with results returned in the following weeks. Ladyman has pledged to meet BusinessCar again early next year to discuss the findings. "A complete victory would be for Government to have best practice guidelines and all departments following them."

"It was a very interesting meeting, and he was more engaging on the subject than I'd thought," said ACFO board member Pryor.

Grainger, director of Fleet Risk Consultants and a regional ACFO chairman, said: "I was surprised at how knowledgeable Dr Ladyman was. He seems to understand the problems and wants to make a difference."