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.
  • Establish a new, ring-fenced ‘Targeted Clean Freight Scrappage Fund’ to help commercial vehicle operators affected by the Clean Air Zones upgrade their vans and trucks

Latest BVRLA engagement activity from Q4-2019

  • Included a section in our manifesto focused on delivering cleaner transport
  • Included a main session at BVRLA Industry Outlook Conference on Electric Vehicles & feature topic at November TOM forum
  • Supported UK100 air quality roundtable and the connected International Air Quality Summit
  • Hosted an EV Energy Roundtable with stakeholders from the energy sector and members
  • Co-hosted a vehicle scrappage scheme roundtable with TfL and an air quality roundtable in Coventry with the council and Energy Saving Trust
  • Co-ordinated a joint letter from transport and environment bodies to political party leaders during the general election campaign about the Plug-In Grant
  • Working with Bristol based members to respond to CAZ & Diesel ban plans in the city
  • Responded to CAZ consultations in Sheffield, Bristol and Bath and consultations on building regulation charging and Heathrow
  • Continued to engage with JAQU ahead of the CAZ vehicle checker launch
  • Attended Road Transport Emissions Advice Group quarterly meeting at the DfT
  • Met with several environmental groups to seek their support for Budget and Elections asks and engaged with Transport Minister of State, George Freeman