This week 14 regional mayors and politicians from across the UK have backed calls by the group UK100 for increased funding for those affected by Clean Air Zones.
The group has asked the Chancellor to include the increased funding within his Spending Round announcement, due to be delivered on Wednesday. The funding would be spent in part on supporting affected businesses and individuals within the new zones, and in part to support the expansion of zones within more cities across the UK.
The BVRLA welcomed the calls to support businesses and individuals – which echoes some of the asks made within the association’s own letter to the Chancellor last month. However; the BVRLA argues the focus for now should be on getting the existing local authority plans right rather than concentrating on extending the number of CAZs.
Responding to the UK100’s announcement, BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said:
“We welcome UK100’s calls for additional funding for businesses and individuals affected by Clean Air Zones and would like to see a portion of this allocated to a ‘Clean Freight Fund’ specifically to assist with HGV and van upgrades to support commercial vehicle operators. With 99% of the country’s 4.4milllion commercial vehicles powered by diesel, operators are facing huge costs to upgrade their fleets and need all the help they can get to fund the transition to greener vehicles.
“We are urging local authorities to focus on exploring a combination of air quality mitigation measures including alternative modes of transport and vehicle upgrade incentives, rather than just defaulting straight to the introduction of Clean Air Zones that will hit small businesses hard in the pocket.”
To find out more about the current status of CAZ plans across the UK visit the BVRLA’s interactive CAZ map.