The BVRLA is critical of Leeds City Council’s plans to introduce a new Clean Air Zone from January 2020 which will charge thousands of HGVs £50 per day to enter.
Under the Leeds proposals more than half of the city will be covered by a CAZ, which will charge pre-Euro VI HGVs.
The decision has come despite considerable consultation between the Council and fleet industry representatives. The BVRLA joined with the Council and the Energy Savings Trust earlier this year in hosting a round table to discuss air quality issues and proposals for a Leeds Clean Air Zone (CAZ). At this meeting the BVRLA and its members outlined a range of alternatives to a charging CAZ and ways of reducing the impact of a zone if introduced.
Leeds has given some consideration to the arguments and suggestions made by the BVRLA. It has halved the government’s recommended £100 fee for non-compliant HGVs and will offer an initial ‘sunset clause’ that provides a CAZ charge exemption for hauliers that can prove that they have got a Euro VI truck on order.
Nonetheless, the BVRLA believes that more action is desperately required to support the industry. BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney said:
“The decision to charge hauliers is short-sighted and very frustrating. It is an extra burden on operators who will have to pass costs on to the consumer.
“Unlike cars and vans, HGV operators have no option to go electric. Operators will face huge costs in replacing non-compliant vehicles with the latest trucks that meet Euro VI emission standards – there are no retrofit solutions available at present.
“We are particularly concerned about smaller businesses, many of whom operate on extremely tight margins and will not be able to upgrade their fleet in time.”
Read the BVRLA’s full response in the press release issued on 10 October: Pricing trucks out of Leeds is not the way forward