The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has told the UK government that clean air zones (CAZs) are not the most effective way to improve air quality.
Clean air zones, such as London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and upcoming schemes in Birmingham and Leeds, levy significant charges on heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that don’t comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard. In London the fine is £100 a day.
However, the FTA argues that these zones are ineffective in the long-term.
“Clean Air Zones will not provide any lasting benefit to air quality; they also hit the small businesses and specialist operators who can least afford to pay,” said Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Urban Policy.
“In the view of FTA, any air quality benefit derived from CAZs will be very short lived as the Euro 6 vehicles required to enter a zone without charge will come into fleets of their own accord, as part of the natural fleet replacement cycle. Euro 6 has been mandatory in all new trucks since 2014, and by the start of 2021, the FTA estimates that more than half of the UK truck will already be Euro 6. The scheme will soon become redundant.”
Instead, the FTA proposes that local authorities look for alternative solutions such as congestion management, incentivising alternative fuels and electric vehicles, and working with electricity suppliers to support more electric vehicle charging points.
This echoes the position taken by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), another freight industry body, which said in June that investment in green aviation technology was preferable to environmental taxes, which disproportionately impact the least wealthy flyers.
Source: Yahoo! News