Air Quality Position Paper

The BVRLA Position Papers outline the association’s views, objectives and engagement activity relating to key policy areas affecting the industry.

The issue explained:

Poor air quality affects the health of millions of people, and reportedly causes 40,000 deaths in the UK each year.

Transport is responsible for 80% of NOx in areas of the poorest air quality.

Government is under pressure to act fast In an effort to improve public health, local authorities with the highest recorded levels of pollution across the UK have been instructed to produce air quality action plans, using a range of activities tailored to the specific needs of that location, including the implementation of Clean Air Zones (CAZ). The first of these zones are due to come into force from 2020 in Birmingham and Leeds where all but the very cleanest vehicles will be charged for driving within its boundaries. In addition, an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) came into force in London in April 2019.

Elsewhere, Oxford City Council has announced plans to create one of the first zero emission zones by 2020. Thirty-two other local authorities across the UK are also currently considering implementing a CAZ.

What we are asking of policymakers

To develop a consistent national air quality strategy and policy framework that is supported by local authorities and enables BVRLA members to;

  • Support businesses and individuals in upgrading to low-emission vehicles

  • Support businesses and individuals in changing their transport behaviour

  • Support businesses and individuals in moving to zero-emission road transport

Top 5 key messages

  • With the right tax regime, incentives and sign-posting BVRLA members can play a massive role in improving air quality, helping government to meet UK targets.
  • We need a comprehensive national framework for Clean Air Zones, providing a consistent approach to signage, charges, communications and administration.
  • In order to realise the Road to Zero Strategy ambitions for the greater uptake of electric vehicles, the Government must take action to ensure adequate supply of vehicles, as well as sufficient charging infrastructure.
  • Clean Air Zones can be a catalyst for behaviour change if supported with a targeted scrappage scheme that gives people ‘Mobility Credits’ to spend on vehicle rental, car clubs, bike share and public transport.
  • Specific support is needed for commercial vehicle operators affected by Clean Air Zones, including a ‘sunset period’, retrofit grants, phased charges and exemptions for night time deliveries or depots just inside the boundary.

Latest BVRLA engagement activity from Q3-2019

  • A Road to Zero Report Card, reviewing progress against government EV targets was launched in June at a Summer Parliamentary Reception
  • The BVRLA’s Future Mobility Congress in July included air quality sessions on the Clean Air Zones, Last Mile and Cars in the City.
  • BVRLA launched its Cars in the City report in July which considers alternative approaches to car use in urban environments, in response, in part, to pressures applied through Local Authority air quality targets
  • Hosted a CAZ webinar for members in July, bringing together presentations from JAQU, TfGM, and TfL
  • A CAZ Advice Zone set up at the BVRLA Future Mobility Congress with advisors from TfGM, TfL, JAQU, Leeds City Council, and Birmingham City Council
  • Attended EV infrastructure roundtable chaired by National Grid and BP, alongside 22 other industry, regulatory and government participants
  • BVRLA Chaired a session at the Climate Innovation Forum in July
  • Attended Road to Zero Delivery Forum at OLEV