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Van drivers ‘confused’ by Clean Air Zone plans

Published 05 December 2017

Van operators are calling for clarity on the Government’s Clean Air Strategy, after it emerged that one in five were unaware of Clean Air Zones and their 2019 roll-out.

Research by Mercedes-Benz Vans shows that 78 per cent of van operators want more information on Clean Air Zones, while the majority of the 2000 people surveyed said they needed more details on costs and emissions criteria. 

One in five van drivers, owners and operators said they had not heard about the proposed Clean Air Zones (also known as CAZs) while roughly half believed it would have a negative impact on their business. 

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has given councils in Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton until March 2018 to come up with solutions to tackle air quality problems, with many areas expected to introduce fees for non-Euro5 commercial vehicles to enter.

Leeds City Council has already outlined proposals to charge the most-polluting HGVs, buses, taxis and private hire vehicles up to £100 a day to enter the city’s outer ring road, while Southampton has hinted at similar measures for commercial vehicles that aren’t Euro6 compliant, with drivers potentially being charged up to £200 a day to enter the city from 2019.

“Clean Air Zones undoubtedly have a positive impact on the environment and our health, but equally, business owners need to know the impact these Zones will have on them too."

The proposals for Leeds and Southampton are still in the consultation process and final plans are expected in early 2018. Both authorities will look to gain funding from the Government’s Clean Air Fund, which will be paid for by a new levy on diesels that do not meet the new Real Driving Emission Rules. However, experts fear that the Clean Air Zones will leave many businesses stranded with very little time to react to ensure their vans meet the new standards.

Steve Bridge, managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans said: “Clean Air Zones undoubtedly have a positive impact on the environment and our health, but equally, business owners need to know the impact these Zones will have on them too – forewarned is forearmed so they can prepare accordingly. To not have clear plans in place that are communicated effectively is doing a disservice to the hardworking business community.”

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has repeatedly criticised the Government for not keeping van operators informed. It has also warned of a crash in used values for vans that will not meet the latest Euro6 standards.

London has already confirmed details of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) that will begin on the 8 April 2019 in central London before being expanded to greater London in 2020 and then to the north and south circular by 2021. Once in force, the drivers of the most polluting cars and vans will have to pay an extra £12.50 (on top of the Congestion Charge) to enter London. Buses, coaches and HGVs, meanwhile, will be charged £100 per day.  

Comments

Agave House    4 days ago

.. stop the mayor making vehicles from 1981 to 2004 extinct !!

Have your say on changes to the Ultra Low Emission Zone .. it's not too late comments close 28 Feb 2018..

consultations.tfl.gov.uk/environment/air-quality-c.../

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