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 and has identified those roads across the country, that require local intervention.

Of the first five cities required to take action Birmingham City Council has opted for a more comprehensive CAZ than Leeds who instead focus primarily on larger vehicles such as buses, HGVs and taxis. Derby, Nottingham and Southampton have all opted to not introduce a charging CAZ.

Elsewhere, Oxford City Council has announced plans to create one of the first zero emission zones by 2020. 32 other local authorities across the UK are also currently considering implementing a CAZ.

Government confirmed that the first Clean Air Zones will be in place by the end of 2019 in Birmingham and Leeds. The London Ultra-Low Emission Zone will begin in April 2019.

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

  • Government must deliver a managed transition away from diesel in urban areas, giving small and medium-sized businesses time to make fleet adjustments in line with their normal cycles
  • 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, tapered charges and exemptions for night time deliveries or depots just inside the boundary

Latest BVRLA engagement activity from Q2-2019

  • Developed new guidance, consumer advice and campaign web pages ahead of the ULEZ launch in London
  • Continued to engage with JAQU on their new CAZ website plans and development of a national fleet portal
  • BVRLA lead a break out session at Greater Manchester Combined Authority Freight Forum
  • BVRLA released a ‘Mobility Credits Scrappage Scheme’ policy paper
  • Coventry confirmed it will be conducting a pilot mobility credits scheme later this year
  • A Road to Zero Barometer report, reviewing progress against government targets will be launched in June
  • BVRLA Summer Parliamentary Reception will focus on the transition to zero-emission vehicles in June