Coventry Clean Air Zone could impact shoppers as much as hauliers

Published: 05 June 2019

Coventry Clean Air Zone could impact shoppers as much as hauliers
As Coventry officials evaluate their plans on introducing an Clean Air Zone, there will no doubt be an announcement or update in the coming weeks. This has left many motorists with some major concerns as to what the outcome will be and how it will impact their means of travelling in/out of the city.

The CAZ could have further implications, not just for hauliers and other motorists – but also for keen shoppers within Coventry who rely on the service that hauliers provide when dropping goods to all of the shops they regularly visit to complete their weekly spend.

The RHA have warned that the congestion charge could have an impact on prices for shoppers in the area in addition to the costs for HGV drivers. As the CAZ will be passed on to the retailers who need goods delivered, prices may go up to cover the cost of moving those goods via haulier within the city.

Speaking out multiple times against the RHA’s clean air approach across the country, they say that haulage is becoming a low profit industry and that these costs will be put through to retailers as part of the fees for completing a delivery.

As such, many shops would have to consider additional costs to customers in order to make a profit from goods delivered. Which in turn, could also lead to customers travelling elsewhere for a cheaper shopping cost.
If a truck fails to meet the standards set by Clean Air Zone, they would be charged up to £100 a day for access to the city. The RHA say these plans should have a transition period which eases the blow to hauliers, giving them a chance to upgrade their vehicles to the Euro VI standard.

Trucks affected are set to be around 6 years old, lower than half of the average HGV lifecycle. At this point, truckers will get penalties simply for meeting the previously set Euro standards. Overall, estimates predict around 50% of UK trucks are non-compliant to these terms and updated truck models.

Managing director of policy and public affairs on behalf of the Road Haulage Association, Rod McKenzie, spoke on the matter: "The Governments' move doesn’t help Coventry - it’s businesses and the supplies they need that come by truck. The shops, hospitals, universities and businesses in Coventry need these vehicles in order to continue to run.”

"Hauliers operate on incredibly tight budgets, and if a CAZ comes into effect they will have to pass on these additional charges or face going out of business. Ultimately, it's the consumer that will end up footing the bill.”
Coventry City Council initially wanted to promote electric vehicles, cycling and walking as a bid to improve air quality in the city and meet standards set forward by Government officials. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs declined this scheme, instead insisting the city council must introduce a CAZ to match the standards they have requested.

Speaking on behalf of Coventry City Council, Jim O’Boyle said: “There’s no point using heavy handed tactics without any clear rationale. Our local plan is all evidence based, we can demonstrate that we can reduce nitrogen oxide levels in the areas of the most concern and I can’t see how a charging zone would reduce emissions any quicker.”

"The Government have sat on their hands on the issue of air pollution and they’re handing the responsibility to local authorities up and down the country."
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