The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has urged policymakers to work with the vehicle rental sector in maintaining the essential movement of goods, people and services during the Covid-19 outbreak.
As the government considers the next stages of its response to the outbreak, the association has pointed to transport and business restrictions in other EU states, where vehicle and rental branches have been excluded due to their role in delivering essential mobility services.
BVRLA rental members operate at 1,800 outlets across the UK and have a fleet of 371,00 cars, vans, and trucks. The vehicles range from ultra-low emission cars, HGV’s and vans.
There are an estimated 17 million car and van rental transactions each year, involving more than 10 million customers.
The association points out that the vehicle rental industry is an integral part of the supply chain across NHS, police, social care and central and local government.
BVRLA has said they will continue to work with policymakers in a range of government departments to keep them up-to-date on the impact that the virus is having on the vehicle rental and leasing sector.
Chief executive of the BVRLA Garry Keaney said: ‘As the government considers the measures it might take to limit the impact of COVID-19, it is vital that it appreciates the role that will be played by rental vehicles in maintaining the essential movement of people, goods and services.
‘Any plans to restrict business or transport must exclude vehicle rental. We have already seen the sector exempted from such closures in France, Austria and Spain, due to its essential role in providing mobility.’
In related news, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution over Northern Italy has fallen dramatically following the government introduction of a nationwide lockdown to combat Covid-19.
The European Space Agency (ESA) uses the Sentinel-5P satellite to continuously monitor pollution in the atmosphere. In the past few weeks, the satellite imagery has shown a ‘significant decline’ in emissions over the Po Valley region in Northern Italy.
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