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Clear air zones – the affect on businesses…

June 26, 2018

In recent days various associations including The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), Road Haulage Association (RHA), Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) have come together to write a letter to the transport secretary. The purpose of this letter was to raise businesses concerns about the way HGV’s would be treated by the new clean air zones in urban areas.

The associations ultimately want to be reassured that businesses will receive government support and not be over penalised by the new zones, businesses that rely heavily on HGV’s could either have to stop operating in certain areas bringing problems to shops or pay a daily charge to enter these zones.

A number of cities have already announced their intentions to introduce HGV charging clean air zones, this has been seen by some as the ideal solution to reduce the current illegal levels of emissions that we are producing from vehicles. London is much further ahead of the following pack with the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone being introduced from 2019.

All of these associations have outlined that despite their letter they fully support the environmental initiative and need for change that is behind these new zones, they just want to ensure that the zones are an equal solution for businesses and the environment rather than just being detrimental to businesses. The current plan for clean air zones will mean that thousands of businesses will incur extra charges of up to £100 on a daily basis, meaning that the cost of produce will have to go up to cover these charges or small suppliers unable to deal with these changes will face going out of business. This raises another concern amongst vehicle operators, even if they all had the funds in place to upgrade their fleet to clean air compliant vehicles manufacturers would not be able to keep up with the increased demand.

All of this presents an uncertain couple of months for HGV operators, shops and consumers alike. When you take into consideration everything that we eat, drink, wear or use as building materials travels on a HGV at some point throughout the supply chain. There is clearly an evident need to find solutions for the businesses most affected by clean air zones, ensuring they are not punished to a point where their business can no longer operate and supply chains become broken. However, the solution is still not evident just a year before the introduction of Ultra Low Emission Zones, whether the government offers grants as incentives to upgrade vehicles or offers businesses another solution remains to be seen.

This is certainly a topic to keep and eye on as the introduction of more clean air zones and the first Ultra Low emission Zone approaches. One thing vehicle operators can do to try and increase their fleet efficiency is book a LoCity driver cpc training course, this course is specifically designed to help with the upcoming changes from clean air zones and highlight why they are being implemented. If you would like to book a LoCity driver cpc training course then please contact us today for more information.


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