London mayor’s air quality proposals criticised by transport sector16 May 2016

The London mayor’s new proposals on air quality could put some small companies out of business. That’s the warning from the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which says the plans could add huge costs to all business in the capital and instead is urging him to look at “carrots as well as sticks”.

FTA says Sadiq Khan’s plans could have three major impacts on business: an additional charge on the congestion charge, which is expected to affect vans and lorries; a requirement for vans and lorries to be Euro 6 across inner London, possibly as early as 2018; and the requirement for lorries to be Euro 6 across Greater London by as early as 2020.

“Freight operators and the service industry could find themselves being charged extra for their vehicles before they have had any reasonable chance to upgrade,” says Christopher Snelling, FTA’s head of national and regional policy.

“Many businesses could lose trade first in central London, then the whole of inner London - and for businesses based in the zones involved, the impacts will be even worse.”

The Association says that as well as increasing the general cost of doing business in the capital, it is also worried about the impact on small businesses in the haulage sector and all those who use or rely on vans.

Snelling adds: “The tipping point where these regulations become less disruptive to business is around eight years after the Euro standard was introduced, when a third to half the fleet is compliant, and the secondhand market is fully developed allowing all companies to upgrade if needed.

“FTA is concerned that these new proposals could see lorries charged extra just three years after their Euro 6 standard came in, and vans just months after - as their Euro 6 standard does not start until this autumn.”

The British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA) is also voicing concern on the matter.

Chief executive Gerry Keaney says: “We support all measures introduced to improve air quality, but are wary of the impact the mayor’s proposals will have on local communities and businesses.”

It points to the proposed extension of the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) as an example, saying that “last minute adjustments to the ULEZ scheme would not give businesses time to prepare and could punish a large number of companies who have already planned their vehicle requirements based on the scheduled 2020 introduction date...

“It took years of planning, research and consultation to come up with the current ULEZ proposals and rushing through with any changes could have major unforeseen repercussions.”

Laura Cork

Related Companies
British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association
Freight Transport Association Ltd

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