Haulage industry claims ULEZ will have little impact, TfL responds

Published: 18 January 2019

Haulage industry claims ULEZ will have little impact, TfL responds

TFL have responded to claims from members of the haulage industry who have stated that their soon to be planned and implemented Ultra Low Emission Zone will have a very minimal impact on the air quality across the city and will only cause more issues for drivers who wish to travel through London without having any benefit on the city’s air quality.

Alex Williams, TfL’s director of City Planning spoke with The Loadstar – describing how air pollution in the city was leading to thousands of premature deaths every year and that this impacted the poor areas of the city the most.

Elaborating on his point further, Alex said: “It is resulting in children with undeveloped lungs, and the ULEZ will significantly reduce the number of polluting vehicles driving within central London, after one year we expect harmful nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions in central London to reduce by 45%.”
The RHA were in talks with Southampton City Council who had planned a similar clean air zone scheme but the plans have since been suspended in favour of an altered plan for the future. The proposal had public support, but concerns were raised by drivers and other members of the haulage industry. The hold on the plans was a “massive win” according to the RHA.

Natalie Chapman, head of urban policy at the FTA told reports that the FTA has been active when endorsing clean air policies, however they do question their effectiveness and the impact it would have on the average haulier.
“In Southampton, the intention was to charge non-Euro VI HGVs, but it left out privately owned vehicles,” she explained. “Which is pointless. In that city, 11% of emissions derive from HGVs with more than 50% deriving from privately owned cars – what would it have achieved?”

London is set to implement the ULEZ in just under 3 months, with both the FTA and RHA expressing their concerns with the plans and explaining how it will have little impact on the environment, but could lead to smaller firms closing due to increased costs.

On behalf of TfL, Mr Williams stated the transport branch has been working “hard” with local firms in the community to be sure companies are better prepared for the changes while completing preparations for the ULEZ launch.

“We have carried out extensive consultations, with many businesses already making the move to comply with ULEZ,” he stated.

“We have contacted more than 3,000 small businesses and are working with London’s business groups to reach thousands more. We are also finalising a £23m van scrappage scheme, which will help small businesses replace their polluting vans with new cleaner ones.”
In response to the situation, Ms Chapman spoke on behalf of the FTA explain why this is one again a problem for hauliers:
 “This is largely due to the failure of Euro V vehicles, which did not meet up to expectations and have seen their residual value drop faster than expected,” Ms Chapman continued.
“Our end goal is clean air, but what we are asking is government to help mitigate the impact on business and make it easier. Our members have been actively involved in upgrading their fleets, but they are hindered by situations outside their control.”
She highlighted the cost on the market for Euro VI vehicles, the cost of which would not be beneficial enough for businesses, despite the vehicles being on the market for two years. In addition to the cost, suppliers were simply failing to meet demands for hauliers interested in purchasing a new vehicle.

With the same applying to electrical vehicles, lead times for the vehicles extending up to a full year.
Mr Williams stated once more regarding TfL’s efforts to be sure London firms are fully prepared for the ULEZ launch in April. He said:

 “We believe that our large-scale communications campaign and the support we are offering them will help London’s small businesses be ready. These measures to make the city’s air cleaner will improve the health of all Londoners and make the capital a more attractive and thriving city.”
Thanks to the RHA, here’s a complete guide of the standards and charges from 8th of April 2019:
ULEZ Standards:

To comply with the ULEZ standards, a vehicle must meet the following emissions standards. These vary according to vehicle and fuel type:
– Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles
– Euro 4 for petrol cars, vans, minibuses, and other specialist vehicles
– Euro 6 for diesel cars, vans, minibuses, and other specialist vehicles
– Euro VI for lorries, buses, coaches, and other specialist heavy vehicles

ULEZ Charges: 
From 8 April 2019, if a vehicle does not meet the ULEZ standard the driver will need to pay the following charge:
– £12.50 per day for vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes 
– £100 per day for heavy goods vehicles greater than 3.5 tonnes, and buses and coaches of more than 5 tonnes
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